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The Science of Ergonomic Pens

Friday, October 08, 2010
By Anne Kramer

Ask anyone who’s ever taken a timed, hand-written exam about the disadvantage of using a poorly-designed pen. Not only can writing with a sub-par utensil cost you time, but pain too. That’s because standard pens are not made with your ergonomic well-being in mind. In fact, the typical, “run-of-the-mill” ballpoint pen is designed to do one thing and one thing only: write.

But as you grip the simple, straight shaft of the average pen, you begin to realize that it takes an increasingly high amount of pressure to keep the pen in your fingers. Indeed, because your fingers are fatiguing, and your fingertips sweating, more and more pressure is needed to continue to write. The problem with this of course, is that for all the pressure you exert on the pen, it exerts an equal amount of force on the bones, ligaments, and tendons of your wrist and forearm. This kind of random pressure can wreak havoc on your joints. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs).

Luckily, this problem has been recognized by the designers of several leading pen manufacturers. These companies have stepped forward, creating writing utensils made to eliminate pressure points, allowing you to write with ease for hours on end. We at wanted to familiarize our readers with the major types of ergonomic pens, so they can make an informed decision the next time they look to buy a pen.

Ergo Sleek Ergonomic Pen Ergo Sleek:
Recognizing that the leading cause of writing-related RSIs and MSDs is incorrect grip, the designers of PenAgain’s “Ergo Sleek” writing utensil asked the simple question “why grip the pen at all?” The unique “Y” shape of this truly futuristic pen allows the user to cradle his/her finger in the pen, without actually gripping it. The weight of the user’s hand is all the pressure needed to write.
Ring Pen Ring Pen:
Similar in concept, but different in design from the Ergo Sleek, the Ring Pen all but eliminates the need to grip the pen, markedly reducing stress incurred while writing. The index finger of the writer is slipped through the pen, allowing him/her to effortlessly guide the pen, without applying pressure.
Yoropen Ergonomic Pen Yoropen:
Actually a company name instead of a pen design, Yoropen’s products all employ an ingenious “kink” at the bottom of the pen which serves as a finer resting-place. This effectively stops your hand from slipping down the pen, which eliminates the need to apply pressure to the shaft of the pen. In addition, this enclave supports the weight of your hand, making writing effortless.
Pen and Pencil Grips Pen Grips:
These simple, inexpensive, yet extremely effective ergonomic aids prevent your hand from slipping down the shaft of a pencil, pen, or whatever other cylindrically-shaped utensil you use. As we know from the designs of the other pens, this is the most effective way to alleviate the need for additional pressure.
Regardless of which pen design you prefer, make sure your writing utensil was designed with your health in mind – especially if writing is a big part of your day.

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