“This should be an exciting one,” said my boss, smirking, as he handed out my blog assignment for the week: gel pads and accessories.
In the thrilling world of office ergonomics, desks raise and lower electrically, mice expand and shrink, and like a Yakov Smirnoff one-liner, chairs adjust to you. So where, amidst all this innovative design, do plain old pads fit? Well, as it turns out, they make a great compliment to many of our ergonomic desk accessories.
An example of this is the Humanscale series of gel mousepads. They make several different sizes of round pads, all of which can be used in any office setup, as well as a keyboard-sized palm support. Some of the mousepads also feature an ergonomic gel palmrest for more comfortable mousing. Great on their own, their real advantage is how well they pair up with Humanscale keyboard tray systems. For instance, the MPGELCLIP8 and MPGELCLIP10 are specifically notched to fit the Humanscale clip mouse mousing platform. Goldtouch offers a similar mousepad with a slightly different slant.
Goldtouch’s GT-6 mousepad is a comparable neoprene-covered gel pad in a kidney bean shape. Its distinguishing feature is its tilt, which pitches downward from the inside to the outside. This slight angle places your hand in a more ergonomically correct position without being so extreme that a mouse would slide off of it. Goldtouch also makes a product specifically for their tenting keyboards.
Goldtouch’s ergonomic keyboards are great for your arms, hands and wrists, but they create a unique problem. Because their two halves are separate and angled, traditional palm rests do not fit well with them.Goldtouch GT-7 gel palm rests overcome this by giving users a separate rest for each half of the keyboard. You can move the palmrests to suit whatever position you put the keyboard in. Finally, Humanscale offers an easy and inexpensive solution for users who do not own any special ergonomic office equipment.
Humanscale’s Mouse Mate is a foam pad that fits over a regular computer mouse. It provides additional support and angles the user’s palm into a neutral ergonomic position. It is an a less expensive alternative to an ergonomic mouse for users with a limited budget. They are yet another good compliment to other office accessories.
True, gel pads and accessories are not the most intriguing parts of an ergonomic office. They can, however, be paired with the right gear to help make other great ergonomic products even more effective.