What is an ergonomic mouse?
An ergonomic mouse is a computer mouse designed to put the arm and wrist to a more natural position, in order to assist in preventing, or rehabilitating injury.
Why is there a problem with a “normal” mouse?
The computer mouse was originally designed for function rather than ergonomic design. Indeed “fashionable” styles and colours (even gimmicky) models were released before ergonomic design.
Traditionally a mouse causes the wrist to rotate from its natural position, and over long periods of repeated use in this position, strain or repetitive injury can occur anywhere along the limb?
The wrong size or using a right-handed mouse in the left hand can cause issues as well.
How does an ergonomic mouse help?
Although there are many types and features to an ergonomic mouse, in its most common form an ergonomic mouse keeps your arm in a more natural position and limits the rotation of the wrist and forearm. Being a more natural position takes the stress off parts of the arm involved in the rotation.
In some situations, using a left-handed mouse with a left-handed user or even matching the correct size can be beneficial to the user. All of these traits can be considered being ergonomic if they help the user.
What are the benefits of using an ergonomic mouse?
- Less pain
- Less stress and fatigue
- More productivity
- Less time off for injury
- Less workers compensation claims
- Faster recovery from some types of injuries
What should I consider when choosing a mouse:
There is more to just wrist rotation when choosing an ergonomic mouse. Choose a mouse that suits your needs – discuss this with your ergonomic assessor or medical advisor.
Some of the features to think about are:
- Left or right handed
- Size – from small to large
- Position of the wrist – degree of rotation
- The grip – traditional style to joy sticks and snug fit
- Wrist support
- Wireless or corded
- Functionality - Programmable buttons
If you haven’t used an ergonomic mouse before it can take time to adjust – we believe retraining yourself takes about 2 weeks.
The 1st week involves getting comfortable with the position and the buttons. The 2nd week the speed increases.
Will it work with my computer?
In general, most mice are programmed to work with both PC based platforms (Microsoft Operating systems) and Apple operating systems (Mac).
In some cases, if you are an Apple user may need to upgrade to a new or relatively new version of the operating system.
Before buying please check. If it’s a bit confusing, ask!
Are there any other options?
Even though there are dozens of different types of ergonomic mice sometimes you may have a specific situation that requires a different solution. Roller mice, touch pads and trackballs may come into consideration.
In these situations, its best to talk to your ergonomic assessor or medical advisor to make sure you get the fit you are looking for.