Looking for a Christmas gift for a heavy computer user, or maybe one for yourself? How about an ergonomic mouse?
It’s well known that a computer mouse can cause repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Part of the reason is that most mice are not well designed from a human engineering standpoint. The shape and range of movement of a regular mouse actually promotes strain and injury. Fortunately there are better alternatives.
Conventional mice require the user’s hand to be fairly flat, twisting the bones of the forearm one over the other. Some ergonomic mice are designed to eliminate this twisting. They allow the wrist to use a more natural, more upright position.
When I was doing lots of web site editing, all those repetitive mouse clicks took a toll on my wrist. I found that I had pain at the end of the day. Switching to one of these more vertical mice, the Evoluent VerticalMouse, has been a real benefit. My wrist is less strained.
The VerticalMouse allows the hand to remain in a more natural position without forearm twisting. It’s large, curved body allows a better fit in the palm to eliminate the finger clawing caused by smaller mice.
Another mouse taking the more vertical approach is the strangely-named Wow-Pen Joy. I haven’t used it but, as can be seen from the photo, it is also designed to allow a more natural wrist position.
Trackballs are another way to escape the pain of a normal mouse. I had a client who swore by her large trackball. She experienced pain using a regular mouse, but loved her large thumb-operated trackball. Her pain was alleviated by not having to move a mouse across the desk. The trackball device remains in one spot, and the large ball is moved with the thumb.
The big mouse brands including Microsoft, Logitech and Kensington all have ergonomic mouse options and trackballs. In addition are smaller specialty brands such as the two I mentioned earlier. The money spent on a more comfortable mouse could be the best upgrade you’ll ever make to your computing experience.