How to Use an Ergonomic Mouse
The ergonomic mouse is a relatively new invention that is designed to minimize the amount of physical stress placed on the hand and forearm while using a mouse to navigate your computer. Many computer mice sold today do not optimize the ergonomics of the product, meaning that the design does not maximize comfort and efficiency of use. If a mouse is the wrong size, has buttons that are ill-placed, or otherwise causes discomfort during use, it could lead to physical stress that wears on the body over time.
Choosing The Best Ergonomic Mouse
When choosing an ergonomic mouse, you want to find one that fits the physical shape of your hand and your operating needs. If you have large hands, you may want to consider purchasing an oversized mouse that fully supports your palm during use. Using a mouse that is too small or too large could cause you to contort your hand during use, leading to hand cramping and muscle or tendon strain. Similarly, consider choosing a mouse that has a combination of the following features:
- Properly sized palm support
- Tracking ball (moves the cursor on the screen without moving the mouse itself)
- Joystick style (designed to be held like a joystick or pen)
- Buttons that are comfortably reached by the index finger, middle finger, or thumb
- Symmetrical shape
Once you have found a comfortable mouse that works for you, you can incorporate it into your workstation setup.
Operating Your Ergonomic Computer Mouse
There are a few simple steps that can help you to maximize the comfort and productivity that you get out of your ergonomic mouse. Consider the tips below to properly operate your mouse:
- Keep your fingers and hand in line with your forearm. Your wrist should not curve to the left or right while using the mouse. Imagine a visual line traveling down your middle finger and through the middle of your forearm.
- Keep your wrist level with your forearm. Do not dip or arch your wrist to use the mouse. Adjust your desk height and/or armrest if necessary.
- Hold the mouse loosely. Focus on resting your hand on the mouse and do not squeeze it during use.
- Move your mouse from the elbow, not the wrist. When moving your mouse, rotate at the elbow to navigate, leaving the wrist straight and at rest. Bending at the wrist can increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand or wrist problems.
- Place your mouse near your keyboard to avoid reaching. You should be able to operate your mouse without reaching for it. If you have to lean forward, reach sideways, or otherwise change your body position to operate your mouse, adjust your desk and chair accordingly.
- Do not use a wrist pad. Wrist pads may actually increase the amount of pressure on your muscles and tendons, possibly increasing your risk of wrist problems.
Following these few basic steps can help you operate your ergonomic mouse properly in order to minimize the physical stress on your body. With a little bit of practice, you can be on your way to comfortably incorporating your ergonomic mouse and keyboard use into your daily work routine.
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