Are you still using the standard 2-button mouse that came with your computer? If so, it may be time for a much-needed upgrade. Believe it or not, the mouse that you use can make your entire workday so much easier. If you spend most of your day in front of a computer screen, an ergonomic mouse can mean the difference between a smooth workday, and a day that ends in wrist or joint pain. While ergonomic mice can be a bit pricier than the standard 2-button mouse, they are well worth the investment.
If your ultimate goal is to minimize wrist pain from mouse usage, then you need a device that keeps your hand in a relaxed, natural position. This is exactly what an ergonomic mouse will do. Unlike a standard mouse, there are several things you should consider when shopping for an ergonomic model.
There are a few different grip types to choose from, including:
Claw – Claw grip mice get their name from the way your hands look when using them. Your palm rests on the back of the mouse, while your fingers are arched in a claw-like position. This style of grip allows for precise control.
Fingertip – A fingertip grip is similar to the claw, but your palm does not rest on the mouse. The mouse is controlled entirely by your fingertips. This type of mouse will give you precise control, but of all three grip types, this is the most straining.
Palm – A palm grip is wide enough for you to lay your entire hand on the mouse. This is the type of mouse that most people are familiar with, and the most common grip type. A palm grip mouse is more comfortable and less taxing than other grip types.
Palm grip mice are the best choice for people suffering with RSI issues. It puts the least amount of strain on the wrist and forearm.
Size is a personal preference when it comes to choosing a mouse. To find a comfortable fit, you'll need to test drive a few different sized mice. The size of the mouse you choose will also depend on the type of grip you are comfortable using. A larger mouse, for example, is best suited for a palm grip.
Part of the problem with the standard mouse's design is that it forces your wrist to be in an unnatural position. Instead of your wrist and forearm resting in a natural, flat position, your wrist and forearm twist to the side. This position is what puts strain on your carpal tunnel, ligaments and tendons.
An ergonomically designed mouse will allow your wrist and forearm to rest in its natural position. There are both horizontal and vertical mice that eliminate this twisting motion. Some people find that a vertical mouse is the best option. This position supports your hand by keeping it upright. An ergonomic horizontal mouse will generally have an indentation on the right or left side to allow your thumb to rest in a comfortable, flat position.
Aside from the traditional mouse, you also have a variety of alternatives to choose from, including:
- Trackball mouse
- Touch pads and tablets
- Mouse pens
- Voice-activated inputs
To truly find the best ergonomic mouse, you need to try out a few different mice first-hand. What feels comfortable for your hand, may not feel comfortable for another person. What ultimately matters is the position your hands are in when using the mouse. Keeping your wrist straight and eliminating the strain on your hand, wrist and forearm will help you breeze through your workday pain-free.