Tech Time With The RollerMouse Free2


While there are many who think that professionals in the media-and-video-production industry don’t spend much time behind a desk and computer, they could not be more wrong. Media professionals can end up spending just as long as any information worker, and often even longer, slaving away on a computer behind a desk. And as some people may or may not know, long hours at a desk and in front of a computer screen in any type of work can have some very serious repercussions on a person’s health, causing back, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain, among other issues. The human body was not made to be in the same position every day. Doing the same motions that put so much cumulative strain on it that can ultimately lead to serious issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.

Fixing The Problem


Fortunately for those slaving away in this less than ideal situation, a number of ergonomic keyboards and mice have been coming out in recent years to help reduce the strain. One of them is the RollerMouse Free2 designed and made by Contour to help combat this problem. The mouse, which sits at the base of the keyboard, eliminates the need for the user to constantly reach up and over for the mouse. It puts less strain on hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulder. You move the mouse by utilizing a roller that spans the width of the keyboard, and sits between you and the keyboard. Centralized buttons control the functions of clicking, right-clicking, scrolling, copying, pasting and double-clicking. The double-click button, as well as the cut and paste, reduce the fine motor movements required by a traditional mouse, which can be tough on the joints.

A Real Life Testimonial

Here at Word Wizards, one of our very own has been using the RollerMouse Free2 for a few months and having great success with it. Devra G., Web Developer and 508 Accessibility Specialist, has suffered wrist, shoulder and elbow pain for a number of years from using a standard mouse. To help alleviate these problems she’s tried various mice and made a big leap forward by using a roller-bar mouse.

Devra’s first big improvement in mousing was using a roller ball mouse, which moves the cursor via thumb movement, not shoulder movement. Moving the cursor with the thumb reduced some of her shoulder pain. But since she still had to reach over to the right, her shoulder was still aggravated.

After some time, Devra ended up seeing a physical therapist about wrist, elbow, and shoulder pain. It was the physical therapist who suggested getting a roller-mouse after telling Devra the wrist and elbow issues were coming from her shoulder.

User Approved

Heeding this advice, Devra purchased the first roller-mouse model, the RollerMouse Pro2 (retail $199.95). While she did enjoy this model, it ended up not being the best working fit since she uses two monitors and needed something that can handle a larger pixel range.

Devra recently got the newer module, the RollerMouse Free2 (retail $239.95), which she feels has reduced her shoulder pain significantly. The roller on this model is also wider and easier to access.

Some Friendly Advice

While using ergonomic mice can be a great alternative for some, there are a few basic tips you can follow with any mouse type that should help reduce strain on your joints. A good one is to take a few minutes break every hour, and stretch your wrists, arms, and shoulders. This will help you relax and make sure your body does not stay in the same position for too long. Another is to occasionally get up and speak to colleagues instead of just sending them an e-mail, since moving around pumps new blood into your body and gives you more energy.


Transcription Gear: Typing Gloves

If you have every experienced the pains of long term typing fatigue, you know that it can be excruciating. Word Wizards is dedicated to taking care of our professional transcription typists, and we have a new product that seems to help relieve / prevent some of the strain. Presenting, handy dandy typing gloves!

Transcription Gloves in ActionClose up photo of transcription typing gloves.


These gloves are for the hardcore transcription professional. Day after day, hour after hour, our transcribers pound away at the keyboard. A lifetime of this abuse starts to add up, and eventually, the transcription professional’s most valuable tools, their hands, start to feel the damage. Its a serious problem, both for those who type for a living, and for those who employ them.

Valery gives a thumbs up while wearing transcription gloves.

It is our duty to take good care of our dedicated transcription specialists, and we have offered to purchase these gloves for our employees who want them. Remember, these gloves wont solve all your problems, the rigors of professional transcription are not for the faint of finger. However, its the little things that add up to preserve yourself in this profession, which is why were happy to provide anything that benefits our transcriptionists and keeps them operating at 100%.

Transcription Gear: The Ergonomic Keyboard

Typing hours and hours, day after day can be heavy on the hands. At Word Wizards, we value or speed typists for their high level of education, rapid typing speed, and their overall ability to transcribe in context from any media format with very few mistakes. Here at Word Wizards, the talented hands of our dedicated typists are a vital business asset. Thus it is our duty and responsibility to protect these dexterous digits and joints at all costs! Enter the ergonomic keyboard!

This is a photo of Microsoft's Standard Ergonomic Keyboard
Curves for comfort, safety, and productivity

If your not used to using an ergonomic keyboard, it takes a little getting used to. However, the benefits for our transcribers far outweigh the costs of learning how to use one. Work related carpal tunnel syndrome is not only painful, it can reduce productivity by 100% (i.e. if someone who types for a living can’t type, they face a huge problem). Word Wizards has long insisted that our employees use an ergonomic keyboard during all transcription or speed typing activities.

More ergonomics

Ergonomic keyboards come in various shapes and the price can range form $20 – $80 depending on the features your looking for. The primary benefit comes from a slight break in the middle section of the keyboard. When someone types using a conventional keyboard, their wrist breaks at almost a 45 degree angle. Over long periods of time, this slight break in hand to wrist position can cause all sorts of nasty problems and horrible pain. The ergonomic keyboard allows the hands and wrist not to break and to type while resting in a straight and natural position. In addition, many ergonomic keyboards sit with a slightly negative incline, reducing the impact of the fingers on keys.

Our advise for all of you transcription professionals out there, get an ergonomic keyboard and protect your most important asset!