Being someone who sells ergonomic products, as well as, you know, a human, I’m well aware how averse we humans are to change. Doing things differently can be a scary proposition sometimes. Walking on a treadmill at work? Typing on a split keyboard? Slightly angling that keyboard away from you on a keyboard tray?? Even though doing so is causing us pain, we’re used to sitting all day typing on a keyboard on top of our desk, and it’s hard to break out of these routines, even if our health is at stake (which it is!)
While wanting to continue doing things the same way that you’re used to (or “tradition” as it is labeled by those who wish to preserve it) is a pretty standard human trait, if there’s one arena where this is exponentially true, it’s baseball. While I never made it past the Little League level (due to a well diagnosed, untreatable medical condition known as “sucking at it”), I have been a lifelong baseball fan. And if there’s one word to sum up the sport, its players and its fans, it’s “tradition.”
When it comes to players, it can take on the form of another –ition, “superstition.” It’s difficult enough to get a Major League player to change his underwear when he’s doing well, much less his equipment. However, a family-owned sporting goods store called Baden Sports of Renton in suburban Seattle is hoping that this will change with their supposedly better, decidedly more ergonomic bat handle.
This new handle isn’t as new as it first seems, though. While the baseball bat has been around for over a century now, this new bat design takes a cue from something that’s been around much longer – the axe handle. In an article on VOA News highlighting this new bat design, Baden Sports account manager and former baseball coach Rusty Trudeau claims this new design “offers better bat control, more power and lower risk of hand injuries.”
This new bat design trades the standard circular knob found on most bats for a more angled knob and oval grip that is a more natural fit to the batter’s hand. The more traditional bat handle hits your palm in such a way that makes players more susceptible to injury, according to Trudeau. This new design, Trudeau hopes, can cut down on the injury and fatigue that comes with wielding a standard bat.
Although it’s hard to get older players to change their ways, the article points out that, when given the choice, younger players just starting out will pick the bat that feels the best, not the just one that’s most like a normal bat. So maybe there is hope this new design will make its way up the ranks and players will begin to choose comfort over tradition.
Of course, you don’t have to be a ballplayer to buck tradition in the name of ergonomics. Chances are you are currently holding a traditional mouse while reading this blog, and it’s probably pronating your wrist and causing discomfort. Turning your hand on its side while using a mouse, with the aid of a vertical mouse like the Evoluent, may seem like a major change from the way you’re used to mousing. But, after a few days, you’ll wonder why the mouse was ever designed the way it first was.
Your office setup is probably full of more traditional equipment like a stationary desk or a monitor stand you can’t adjust. Just because it’s always been like this, doesn’t mean you can’t change it.
Find more ways to buck tradition with more ergonomic products at TheHumanSolution.com