Mouse Ergonomics: All Your Questions Answered

Workplace ergonomics includes several essential factors such as posture, visual ergonomicsoffice furniture and so on all intending to fight workplace injuries and workplace fatigue. Today, let us look at a branch of ergonomics that is lesser-known but is still very important. Mouse ergonomics! If you’re an employee who spends around 8 hours working at a computer, you might be familiar with the discomfort in your hand and wrist constant mousing causes. This discomfort, if left untreated, can cause a musculoskeletal injury.

Many experts suggest that the pandemic can lead to a complete shift with employees working remotely. Therefore, it is vital that we learn more about mouse ergonomics and how it affects the human body. This guide discusses mouse ergonomics in detail and outlines some best practices to follow while working on your computer.

How do I hold my mouse correctly❓

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to holding your mouse correctly and following correct mouse ergonomics. Here is a rundown of each:

  1. Grip: The first thing to monitor while using a mouse is your grip. Always grip your mouse in a light and comfortable manner. Holding it too tightly or compressing the mouse will only put unnecessary strain on your wrist and hand. 
  2. Size and shape: To have the right grip on your mouse, you will need to pick a mouse of the appropriate size. Once you are set on the size, choose a mouse that fits your hand well while being as flat as possible.
  3. Position: If your keyboard and mouse is placed to the side, you might find yourself twisting your body to use them. This will put a strain on your torso and your shoulders. To avoid this, place your keyboard and mouse squarely in front of you. Sit back in your chair and hold your mouse without moving too forward. 
  4. Elbow: It is vital to keep your wrist neutral at all times. Use your mouse by pivoting your elbow. This will ensure that your wrist isn’t taken out of the neutral position.
  5. Space: Ensure that your desk is spacious enough for you to move your mouse freely. Remove all the extra accessories and keep your desk clean to avoid the added stress of restricted movement. 
  6. Mouse controls: Using a mouse correctly and ergonomically isn’t just about how you hold it. Head to system preferences on your computer or laptop and adjust the speed of the mouse cursor, the size of the cursor and the time between double clicks.

What are the benefits of an ergonomic mouse❓

An ergonomic mouse takes the pressure off your wrists, allowing you to stay productive longer. But how exactly is it beneficial to us?

  1. Improves posture: This one is a given. An ergonomic mouse places your arm in a natural position, thereby reducing muscle strain. 
  2. Avoids pressure on the wrist: An ergonomic mouse supports your hand and allows your palm and fingers to rest. It also minimises undue twists in your wrist. 
  3. Cures pain: When you use an ergonomic mouse, you may be able to alleviate the existing pain in your wrist. In addition, you can also prevent a host of repetitive strain injuries because ergonomic mice require lesser strength for use.
  4. Improves efficiency: The more comfortable your workstation is, the more efficient you become because your muscles aren’t subjected to fatigue. 

Should I use a wired or a wireless mouse❓

To decide which type of mouse is right for you, let us look at four factors: comfort, charging, compatibility, and cost. 

  1. Comfort: A wired mouse comes with a cable and can restrict your movements because it is attached to the computer. A wireless mouse gives you more freedom, especially if you’re travelling. 
  2. Charging: A wired mouse doesn’t have the hassle of changing batteries or charging. A wireless mouse will need you to change batteries or charge it from time to time.
  3. Compatibility: Wired mice need a USB port. Wireless mice work via Bluetooth and hence don’t require a port but may require a dongle that needs a port. 
  4. Cost: Wireless mice are more expensive than wired ones.

Both wired and wireless mice have their pros and cons. Therefore, you will need to evaluate what will work for you and your type of usage. For example, if you are into gaming, a wired mouse will be a better option. If you work remotely or travel a lot, a wireless one might be the way to go.  

What are the different types of mice available in the market❓

Like all of the other office equipment available in the market today, mice also come in different shapes and sizes. 

How can I reduce strain on my hands and wrist❓

The biggest problem with any device is the repetitive movement caused by long hours at the computer. Here are a few ways to stop this pattern: 

  1. Take breaks. Set a timer on your phone every hour, step away from your desk and stretch. 
  2. Switch between a mouse and a trackpad from time to time. 
  3. Switch hands if you have an ambidextrous mouse. 
  4. Take your hand off your mouse when you aren’t using it. If you are reading a page of text, ensure that your hand isn’t on the mouse for the whole duration. Let your hand rest while you read. 

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Have more questions? Here’s how we can help you.

Our partners, Spectrum Optimise, are Ireland’s leading ergonomics experts with a team of physiotherapists and experts that will assess your workplace for you and give you some solid advice on how to work comfortably and get your office ergonomics right. Book an appointment here.

If you still have any more questions, we would love to hear from you