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A Guide for Choosing the Perfect Ergonomic Mouse

A Guide for Choosing the Perfect Ergonomic Mouse

wrist pain mousing

Are you tired of the discomfort that traditional computer mice bring to your wrists and hands? You may not have known but there are alternative ergonomic mice designed to prioritize comfort and enhance productivity during prolonged computer use.

Understanding the risks of traditional mice

Traditional mice with their simple design; a small palm sized symmetrical plastic body, two buttons and a scroll wheel, have remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s. Unfortunately for some users this design can contribute to wrist discomfort and fatigue. Here’s a deeper dive into the risks associated with traditional mice:

  • Compression of the carpal tunnel: Traditional mice require users to position their hand in a palm-down position, leading to compression of the carpal tunnel—a narrow passageway on the underside of the wrist. Prolonged compression can result in inflammation and contribute to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Excessive side-to-side movement: As users navigate multiple screens, traditional mice often necessitate excessive side-to-side movement of the wrist. This repetitive motion can strain the wrist and lead to discomfort over time.
  • Tight grip and muscle fatigue: Small wireless mice may force users into a tight grip, known as a claw grip, where the thumb and pinky pinch the sides of the mouse. This grip can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness in the hand and forearm, potentially resulting in conditions like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.

Exploring alternative ergonomic mice

Vertical mouse

Revolutionizing traditional mouse design, vertical mice aim to reduce wrist compression by positioning the forearm in a more neutral alignment. By adopting a palm-in position like a handshake, these mice alleviate pressure on the carpal tunnel, minimizing the risk of discomfort and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Brands like Evoluent and Logitech offer an array of vertical mice in wired and wireless configurations, catering to different hand sizes and preferences.

Trackball mouse

Ideal for individuals experiencing excessive side-to-side movement, trackball mice allow the wrist to remain relatively stationary. Users navigate by rolling a trackball with their fingers, enabling precise cursor control without the need for extensive wrist movement. The Kensington Orbit, with its ambidextrous design and detachable wrist rest, is a good option in the trackball mouse category.

MoveSafe consultants tend to avoid recommending trackball mice that have the trackball controlled by the thumb as people are already overusing their thumbs when texting or scrolling through social media

Handshoe mouse

The Handshoe Mouse is uniquely contoured to fit the hand like a glove. This design encourages a relaxed hand position, reducing the strain caused by excessive gripping. With options available in both wired and wireless configurations, selecting the correct size is crucial for optimal comfort and performance.

Which mouse should you choose?

When choosing the right ergonomic mouse for your needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as hand size, grip style, and personal comfort preferences. Experimenting with different models and configurations can help you find the perfect fit.

While alternative ergonomic mice can significantly reduce musculoskeletal injuries and improve comfort during prolonged computer use, they often require a bit of a learning curve as your body and mind work out a new way to interact your computer. Give yourself some time and patience to practice with them!  

Additionally, don’t overlook the impact of your keyboard as it can have a significant effect on your mousing comfort. Check out our article on alternative ergonomic keyboards to learn more.

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