A Movement Exploration to Help you use a Mouse or Trackpad with more Ease and Comfort

In News by Ira Feinstein

by Marsha Novak, GCFP

Try this brief ATM® lesson and discover what a difference a few, well-focused minutes can make on your comfort level!

Start when you are seated and ready to work on your computer.


Get an overall sense of yourself in sitting.

Begin to use your mouse or trackpad.


How does that feel? Can you sense the places that move when you “mouse”? 
Many people find that most of the movement happens at the wrist.

Now take your hand away from your computer and move your wrist in all directions as far as it comfortably goes.

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How much of that range of movement did you use when you “moused”? Probably quite a bit of it.

Now see if you can keep your wrist relatively still and use your full arm to “mouse.”
How does that feel?

Now just move your arm through a full range of motion – toward the ceiling, out to the side, in a circle- all of it. (this line id edited)How much of that range did you use to “mouse”?  – probably not much.

Now just for fun, place your hand on your mouse or finger on your trackpad. Keep your arm still and shift your weight forward and back on your chair. Notice what happens to your cursor.

Pause

Now repeat, but shift your weight from side to side and see where your cursor goes.

Pause

This time see if you can use shifting your weight on your chair to control your cursor to do actual work.

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Many folks suffer from pain and strain related to the use of a computer mouse or trackpad. What we know is that using a larger joint in a small amount of its available range creates far less strain than using most of the range of a smaller joint. Also using more appropriate joints to support an action is helpful.

Using your whole arm as well as shifting your weight in helpful ways is the path to more comfortable computer use.

Marsha Novak is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionercm living and working on Bainbridge Island, WA. She is on a mission to help the public understand that the Feldenkrais Method® is more than “alternative physical therapy.” Marsha graduated from the Berkeley 3 training with Elizabeth Beringer in 2003. Find out more at movingwellbainbridge.com