ergo shit (doolittle thread)

yo @Doolittle talk to me about ergonomic shit

vertical mouse y/n

vertical mice are very very hard to game on, some are better than others but it’s rough

I just fingertip grip tiny mice and I’m pretty happy

be still my heart

vertical mice help if your wrist hurts from ulnar deviation (moving wrist laterally independent of arm) or pronation (bending wrist back)

but first, where’s the pain?

according to recent EMG test, carpal tunnel in both hands and ulnar nerve prolapsing in both elbows

i don’t care about games at all luckily haha

pain is everywhere at all times

back of hand
etc etc

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how about fingers? I don’t have carpal tunnel but IIRC it can affect the first couple of knuckles

if fingers are good but you need your hand mostly stationary, trackballs/trackpads are an alternative, but you need at least your index/middle fingers pretty limber

That’s also called cubital tunnel syndrome if I understand correctly? I haven’t had that specifically, but it does seem vertical mice are advised for that

I’ve been using a 3M wired vertical mouse for more than a decade and still swear by it. Losing the mousewheel is a pretty big sacrifice that most people find hard to swallow (I use keymappers to permanently map my printscreen and insert keys on my keyboard to wheelup/wheeldown for software that insists on it) but for some reason it remains the only vertical mouse with a large enough base that I can rest my hand in a fully relaxed position, so although I try other mice out every couple of years I always go back to it. In terms of fingers it exercises the thumb for both mouse buttons while leaving the other fingers mostly idle.

other considerations: workflow (iirc normal productivity software, but e.g. how often do you switch between mousing and typing?), OS, desk space, chair (arm rests? height? what angle are your knees at? can your desk get low enough that you don’t extend your elbow? etc.)

in general skeptical of vertical mice for elbow pain because when i’m using them i’m moving my large joints to save my wrist and fingers but ymmv and you may be able to mouse more precisely without a 1 in dex a/k/a dyspraxia

prolly gonna lend @meauxdal some stuff so they can confidently cajole HR but specific hardware I can vouch for:

  • anker vertical mouse. comes in wired/2.4ghz/bt variants, badged OEM you can find under other brands on aliexpress or abroad under generic brands. sensor is bad but serviceable for desktop use.

  • razer pro click. razer sensor and 2.4ghz 1000hz polling but ergo shape designed by humanscale with the gamer aesthetic kept to a minimum. 30 degree angle so it’s not properly “vertical” but is a relief you rest your entire hand on.

  • microsoft sculpt keyboard. chiclet so may not be to your taste but least expensive by far for split/angle/negative tilt/tenting.

  • apple magic trackpad 2 with something to angle it/rest your wrists on. if you can have your wrists supported so your hand “falls” on the trackpad it’s the closest to a neutral position. turn the sensitivity up and only use tap-to-click.

  • kinesis advantage. best ergonomics of any keyboard short of a dactyl you customize in fusion360 and 3d print to fit your hand measurements, minimal movement, covers all standard keys with an embedded numpad on right hand, unfortunately $$$ but feels cheap next to other keyboards because it’s hollow ABS with the PCBs suspended to create the concave layout.

(other split/ergo mech keyboards are good but if you’re in needs-surgery pain I can’t recommend them over the kinesis advantage)


  • logitech mx vertical (lol)
  • thumb-operated trackballs (way too much back-of-hand tension)
  • jazz
  • liquor
  • men who play for fun

in general re: posture/seating:

  • chair should be to where knees are level with hips and you can lean back to take weight off of your spine and SI joint

  • if chair has adjustable reclining resistance, set it to where you can lean back without effort but also do not completely lean back i.e. to where the mechanism holds you up and you can relax your back

  • arms should fall from your shoulders relaxed, chest “open”

  • armrests should graze the bottom of your arm. it’s common to place armrests too high which forces your shoulders up and creates issues throughout your torso and arms

  • mousing/typing surface should be below your hands if your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle and your knees are level with your hips. this is hard to achieve even with an adjustable desk. keyboard trays help.

  • ideally the typing surface has a negative tilt (bottom row higher than top row, opposite of typewriters/most keyboards) and a tent (middle higher than sides to avoid wrist pronation. keyboard trays can create negative tilt and be mounted lower than the desk height if it’s too high.

  • ideal monitor height varies by age/glasses/etc. but generally you want eye level to where you can read the screen without wanting to tilt your neck up/down. left/right is less strain if you have multiple displays. pneumatic arms help with adjustability if the monitor has a fixed or limited range stand.

get work to pay for this stuff if you need it, by the way


ftr i can barely exist at all rn

i can’t do literally anything without horrible pain. i can’t sleep/wash/type/eat/drive easily. it is a personal hell made real and i want to die lmao

i ask bc i dk anything ab this stuff but i need all the help i can get. i can barely even reply to this thread

Seems clear you need disability leave now. I hope you can use some of this if you want to go back to work after some rest and/or treatment.


would love for this info to stick around in some form, i’m also thinking about it a lot these days

keep seeing youtube vids of people building that 3d printed dactyl keyboard, would that be worth a flutter if i used to do a lot of soldering when i was a child?

My next project is definitely a dactyl, yeah. It’s the only improvement I can see ergonomically because I can adjust it to fit, well, like a glove.

This tool is amazing and generates the stereolithography files for printing after you tweak parameters so you can skip the modeling program altogether in some cases

I dunno if you know someone with a printer because buying the cases from boutiques is expensive.

Otherwise, yeah, definitely worth a flutter! If you can solder, doing the matrix with enamel wire and through-hole solder to the two microcontrollers is just time, not a big skill check. Building and flashing firmware is a bit arcane but I’m happy to walk through it. If you’re going to be stateside I might be able to help with parts or printing, etc.

I should say that doing something like the Iris will be easier and cheaper but without the concave layout I really want.

I’ve been planning out my dactyl for a while - currently tuning my printer so I can get good results with wood-filled PLA filament.


i don’t have a 3d printer but i have a bunch of friends so hopefully i know a guy who knows a guy. though this sounds like it’s a big print… hm

It’ll print on e.g. an Ender 3, the 3D printer every guy-known-by-a-guy has.

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loooooove wood PLA

that sounds like a dream material yeah. this may be the first i’ve heard of it but

What chairs are y’all on? I got a Steelcase Leap in November after sitting in a piece of shit office chair for years that I was sure was destroying my back, but I had to return after a few months because I couldn’t get used to it at all (and I think it like gave me sciatica or some shit lol?? the seat cushion was really firm… my thighs would be in agony at the end of the day). So now I’m back on this office chair but I’m trying to stand up every couple hours or so and pace around my hut while reading a book until my legs get tired which seems to help but I’m sure there has to be a A Better Way.

old-ass craigslist humanscale

i was on the hunt for a $100 grey Aeron for a month or two but, after being unable to convince anyone to sell me one for that price and also my wife hemming + hawing about them being very ugly, ended up with an Ikea JÄRVFJÄLLET

I mostly like it a lot other than the arms being mostly vestigial and wishing the butt padding was thicker.

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