Let’s Quit Moussing Around!
A computer mouse is an important part of an office worker’s life. It helps perform many daily tasks such as browsing from page to page, clicking preferred settings, scrolling through research papers or business proposals, cutting, pasting, copying, changing fonts, and designing layouts. The list goes on and varies by profession but the bottom line is that a computer mouse is a very useful tool for performing everyday tasks in the office.
What many of us know about our mouse, is that as much as we love and use them, they can also provide some or a lot of discomfort. The standard issue mouse that most receive with their desktop is usually a conventional mouse. These have been associated with negative musculoskeletal outcomes (wrist and upper extremity discomfort). Most common among these issue can be carpal tunnel syndrome.
ARE OUR (OFFICE WORKERS) UPPER EXTREMITIES DOOMED?
The answer is NO. We are lucky to have many devoted scientists and manufacturers that work hard to provide people with solutions to this problem. May it be by suggesting behavioral, physical or product changes.
THINGS TO TRY NOW!
If you can’t wait another second to alleviate your discomfort, there are some things you can do right away!
1. Place your mouse within the span of your shoulders.
2. Be a gentle clicker.
3. Adjust your mouse speed.
4. Switch hands
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT!
Perhaps a conventional mouse is just not for you - or just not the best fit. There are many alternatives out there that are great potential suitors. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to find your perfect match.
1. What size are my hands?
2. What hand do I use to mouse, left, right or both?
• Did you just learn to click with that hand even though you are left handed for writing? If so you could benefit from switching moussing hands every once in awhile to avoid muscle fatigue.
• In the ergonomic world left handed people are not left behind! Multiple ergo computer mice are catering to this population.
• What is my willingness to try something different?
It’s ok to want to stick to what you know and it’s also ok to want to completely change the way you click. Here are the levels of differences with 1 being similar to 10 completely different
Comfort Level: 1-3
Keep your original mouse layout but make sure to look for one that is for the correct hand size and left or ride (or both) side. You would be looking at switch mouse, sculpt, and Kensington pro-fit.
Comfort Level: 4-6
This means that you are willing to dabble in the vertical world a bit. Try the Hippus hand shoe mouse. It has been engineered to support your hand in a more neutral posture than a conventional mouse and eliminate the need to reach your fingers out to click on the mouse.
Comfort Level: 7-8
Try a trackball, this allows to save space on your desktop and provide comfort. This one is different from a conventional mouse since you are not using the same technique to scroll through your work.
Comfort Level: 8-10
You are tired of reaching beside your keyboard and want something completely different from what you are used to. This one is completely different but has easy to adapt changes. Try the roller mouse red plus for PC and Mac. It even comes with extra deep palm support! It is expensive but can always be exchanged if it is not to your satisfaction.
A little extra tip to take your clicking experience to a new level would be to get yourself a mouse pad (if the mouse doesn’t come with one). This is not just a fancy luxury, it helps reduce muscle activity applied while moussing.
As always feel free to call or email us with any questions this article may have generated we are happy to answer them.