Now that we live in a digital world, more and more people spend a great deal of time on their computers and laptops, especially those need these devices for work.
If this sounds like your situation, then I am sure you also use a mouse on a regular basis. The typical mouse that’s been around since the 1980s, though designed to be of help with computers, isn’t that helpful when it comes to a person’s health and well-being.
Over time, the shape of this mouse, and moreover the way it’s used (which requires a horizontal hand posture) is responsible for the sensations of chronic ache, tingling and numbness in the wrist and hand, or even worse, the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The efficient way to prevent serious injuries and long-term damage is to throw out your old mouse and get a vertical ergonomic mouse as the ideal replacement. As the name suggests, this is a mouse designed to support the hand by allowing for a more relaxed grip and natural position, which is the so-called handshake position, so there’s reduction in the forearm rotation between vertical and horizontal.
The Difference an Ergonomic Mouse Makes
With these mice there’s no twisting of the wrist, thus the typical pronation that compresses the median nerve and the stress on the tendons that are synonymous with using the old types of mice would no longer be your concern.
That being said, they’re a great alternative for both people who want to prevent RSIs (repetitive strain injuries) and those who already have them and need to reduce the discomfort and relieve the pain. Also, when working while having the hand in a handshake position, you activate the forearm, which means you are not using only the wrist.
In other words, what a vertical ergonomic mouse does is it transfers the strain to the stronger muscles of the arm by reducing the grip on the smaller and tender muscles in the wrist area.
The Ideal Ergonomic Mouse
Design is a rather subjective aspect, so you can’t merely buy a mouse because a friend recommended it. That being said, consider which design is suitable for your hand size, how easy it would be to get a hold of the mouse and use the buttons, as well as how good the grip is. If you’re not shopping in store and you can’t try out the mouse, check for the size and weight online to be in the know.
Don’t forget to keep in mind the features of the specific model, like whether or not it allows for customisation of DPI tracking responsiveness, if it’s wired or wireless, check what the pointer speed is, the compatibility with different operating systems, and sensitivity of the buttons in order to get the most useful one for you.
If you require an extra level of comfort, you might find use in accessories like the wide lip on the bottom of the mouse that prevents the desk from rubbing your pinky finger. Last but not least, it’s crucial to consider the specific use – while some models may be ideal for work, they may not be suitable for gaming!
How to Use an Ergonomic Mouse
You could buy the best design of a vertical ergonomic mouse there is, however, if you don’t use it properly, you might still end up in discomfort. The confusion arises with the manoeuvring, because it’s not exactly as with a traditional mouse where your arm is some inches off the desk. In order to avoid any pain remember to sit up straight, relax the shoulders and instead of moving the entire arm, rest the forearm on the desk for a better hold and support.
If controlling the mouse with your forearm doesn’t prove to be that efficient, try manoeuvring it with the wrist instead. To be on the safe side, it’s best to rely on both methods, alternating between both during your daily use, and of course, take breaks every hour or so to get a little rest.
To make better use of your breaks and reduce strain, try exercising the hands a bit by making a fist and releasing it after a minute, then repeat this several times for a good stretch. In case you still feel some sort of discomfort even when using it correctly, you might want to consider getting another type of a mouse – either another vertical or a trackball one.