Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
People who work with computers for long periods can develop a complaint called Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). This is a painful condition which affects the ability of computer-users to do their work properly. It is caused by a pattern of frequently-repeated, unnatural movements. The main culprits are the poor posture adopted when using keyboards and mice, often in combination with heavy workloads that lead to sustained periods of computer activity.
Mice are often difficult to control because their mechanical or optical components are not responsive or accurate enough to allow the cursor to be moved with the precision required. This mismatch between an inaccurate device aiming for a precise target stresses the arm and shoulder muscles unnecessarily.
With a Wacom tablet, however, you have a precision device and you can also change between using a pen and mouse so as not to put stress on the same muscles all the time. Sufferers from RSI who can no longer manage with a mouse can therefore benefit from a Wacom tablet and pen.
Although a Wacom tablet can help with RSI, it is nevertheless important to deal with other aspects of RSI by such measures as taking regular short breaks from the computer and avoiding taking on heavy workloads where there is pressure to do it quickly.
Which tablet is Suitable for you?
The choice of a specific Wacom tablet will depend on a number of factors:
In making your choice, it is essential to realize what causes RSI and what can be done about it. For this, see the left-hand column.
- How much computer-work you do
- Which tasks you do on the computer
- The resolution of your computer-screen
- And last, but by no means least, your budget
Which Tablet Size?
You want to be able to move and position the cursor on the screen accurately without the need to make small corrective movements, which cause extra unnecessary stress on your muscles. In other words, you want to be able to work accurately without consciously or unconsciously placing inappropriate demands on how you move your body. A larger tablet can help prevent RSI better because you can more accurately place the pen, and therefore your hand and arm, on a large area than on a small. It also has the advantage that variations in movement and posture are greater on a larger tablet. You should not therefore make the mistaken assumption that choosing a small tablet will be better.
The Budget Solution:
A good but cheap tablet is the Bamboo Pen Tablet EN.The pen that accompanies the tablet can take the place of your mouse, allowing you to assume a better, more natural posture and have better control of the cursor on your screen.
The Better Solution:
For people who, in course of their work, make daily use of a computer and who perhaps are already showing symptoms of RSI, we recommend the Intuos5 Pen Medium. This tablet is of a higher quality and twice the size of the Bamboo. Of course, this is reflected in its higher price.
The Graphical Work Solution:
If you draw, or perform similar tasks, you might need a larger tablet. For example, the Intuos5 Touch Large.
For detailed advice, you can check our advice-page, or ring us.