Guide to Choosing the Right Ergonomic Mouse
In a world of fast moving technology, our health seems to have taken a back seat when it comes to the use of computers and other devices. There seems to be a lack of practical education around the importance of choosing the correct keyboard or mouse for individuals which has led to a serious increase in workplace issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, and elbow and back pain.
It’s important we take the time to learn to reduce, and possibly prevent these issues using specialised, ergonomic equipment.
What is an ergonomic mouse?
In the realm of specialised ergonomic equipment, the ergonomic mouse is a computer accessory crafted to alleviate strain and discomfort in the user's hand and wrist. These innovative mouse designs are tailored to encourage a naturally relaxed hand position, significantly mitigating the potential for repetitive stress injuries.
The hallmark of ergonomic mice, is their distinctive shape, which uses a neutral hand position, sparing users from the discomfort of twisted or contorted grips.
What types of Ergonomic mouse are available?
Ergonomic solutions are not a one product fits all, so they come in all sorts of shapes and designs that target different issues from shoulders, wrists, elbows, back or postures. When it comes to ergonomic mice, I prefer to categorise them into three primary types: vertical mice, trackball mice & semi vertical mice.
If you are grappling with wrist discomfort, a vertical mouse could be the ideal remedy for your situation. Vertical mice are designed to maintain your wrist in a more natural and ergonomic position, effectively alleviating strain, and discomfort. These are available in various sizes and shapes, so it's essential to select one that fits your hand comfortably. Most vertical mice come in different sizes small, medium, and large.
(Shown above is a Penguin Mouse)
Another popular vertical mouse is the Evoluent D & Evoluent 4 series (D shown above). Vertical mice allows your hand to grip it in a handshake position, similar to how you'd hold a glass. This design is intended to reduce strain on your wrist and arm, potentially making it more comfortable to use for extended periods.
Great options in vertical mice:
Evoluent D range has options three difference sizes and comes in Wired or Wireless variants:
Evoluent 4 Series has been a staple for vertical mice for years that also has a left handed model.
Semi Vertical Mice
The main concept behind a semi-vertical mouse is to balance between the traditional horizontal mouse, which can contribute to wrist strain and discomfort, and the fully vertical mouse, which requires more significant adjustments in hand posture. By angling the hand and wrist in a more natural position, a semi-vertical mouse aims to reduce strain and potential repetitive stress injuries while maintaining a level of familiarity for users accustomed to traditional mice. Ideal for users who do not currently experience issues but wish to proactively prevent long-term problems.
Contour Unimouse Right Wireless
Contour Unimouse Left Wired
Contour Unimouse Left Wireless
Providing a practical solution to minimise wrist and arm mobility. Rather than relocating the entire mouse, trackball mice enable you to control the cursor using your fingers on a stationary trackball. This feature can be highly beneficial for those coping with conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive strain injuries, offering a more comfortable and ergonomic alternative to traditional mice.
The Logitech MX Ergo Trackball - Wireless
By eliminating the need to physically shift your hand to control the cursor, you can reduce unnecessary movement. Reduce muscle fatigue in the hand, wrist, and forearm compared to traditional mice
What features should I look for on a ergonomic mouse?
When considering purchasing an ergonomic mouse, there are various factors to take into account. I'll focus on the key features that I recommend looking for.
Wired or Wireless connection
When it comes to choosing the right mouse for your needs, you have two options on how it connects to your devices: wired and wireless mice. Wired mice are known for their reliability for stable connection, but they can restrict your movement and add clutter to your desk. On the other hand, wireless mice provide greater freedom of movement and keep your workspace tidy, but they rely on batteries or chargers and it’s possible that you may encounter connectivity hiccups occasionally.
A mouse equipped with customisable buttons empowers you to tailor their functions to specific tasks, such as copy and paste or zooming in and out. This level of personalization not only enhances efficiency but can also be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, as it minimizes strain on the wrists and fingers.
I use Cut and Paste often and the motions of pressing Control+C & Control+V puts repetitive stress on my left hand. So, I remapped the thumb buttons to be cut and paste which was a life saver to me. Many ergonomic mice feature adjustable buttons that can be remapped to match your unique requirements. Manufacturers mice driver may be required to adjust the buttons or an a windows tool called X Mouse Button Control also works well.
Adjustable DPI (Mouse Sensitivity)
DPI, which stands for "dots per inch," is a measure of a mouse's sensitivity. Think how much the mouse moves when moving the mouse cursor from one side of the screen to the other. A higher DPI setting results in faster cursor movement with less physical motion, whereas a lower DPI setting offers slower movement but greater precision.
The ability to adjust the DPI allows you to fine-tune the mouse's sensitivity to suit your personal preferences and the specific task you're working on. Ergonomic mice normally have a range of different DPI that can be selected, such as 800 to 2400. For instance, when engaging in intricate tasks like photo editing, you may opt for a lower DPI to achieve higher precision such as 800-1600. Conversely, for fast-paced gaming that demands swift responses, a higher DPI setting such as 2400 can be more advantageous.
Sizing of the hands and mouse
Manufacturers utilise various metrics to determine whether you need a large, medium, or small mouse. Therefore, it's essential to carefully read the product descriptions to learn how to measure your hand and determine if the mouse you are considering is suitable. Some of the series with more than one size include the Penguin Mice, Evoluent 4, Evoluent D and Newtral 3 series.
Takes some time to adjust
Just a note that its important consideration to bear in mind is the adjustment period when transitioning to a new ergonomic mouse, especially if it's your first time using a non-standard design. Personally, it took me three working days to adapt to the Newtral 3 semi-vertical mouse, having spent the previous 15 years using conventional mice.
So, if you find yourself initially a bit slower or less accurate when you begin using an ergonomic mouse, don't sweat! It's perfectly normal, and it merely takes a little time before using it becomes second nature and muscle memory takes over. Just hang in there and give yourself the opportunity to acclimate to the new experience.
The process of picking the ideal ergonomic mouse is a choice that merits careful consideration. This decision can have a profound effect on both your comfort and productivity, underlining the importance of selecting a mouse that suits your unique needs and personal preferences.
If you are currently experiencing aches and pains, it is advisable to consult a medical professional for personalised guidance. However, incorporating ergonomic products into your workstation can significantly contribute to preventing and reducing discomfort caused by poor posture and alignment.
ComputerFood offers an extensive range of mice to enhance the comfort and ergonomics of your workstation. Our ergonomic range includes a variety of products designed to provide optimal support and promote a healthier posture while you work. View our range on the link below: ComputerFood Ergonomic Mice