You may think that an ergonomic mouse is just another gimmick designed to get you to spend more money. In reality there are actually some important features that differentiate an ergonomic mouse from a normal one in terms of design, and in turn, health benefits.
Pain, tenderness and redness in my thumb are common ailments when using a normal mouse for an extended period of time. Twisting and gyrating of your wrist as you operate a standard mouse can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
I started using an ergonomic mouse to prevent future aches and pains, realizing the need to find a mouse which would give me a relaxed grip and a neutral mousing position. An ergonomic mouse closely follows the contours of your hand to provide a better fit when held. They simply provide better support for your fingers and hand, with some designs even minimizing the twisting of your wrist to operate the mouse, an action known to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome over time.
If you want to invest in your hand- and wrist health for the future also, you need to seriously consider an ergonomic mouse. The question is which one? In this post I’ll explore the different types of ergonomic mice out in the market for you to consider.
Wireless Ergonomic Mouse
Some of the best wireless computer mice come from top rated brands such as Logitech, Razer and Anker. The Logitech MX Master for example is a well designed mouse which promotes smooth movements and prevents wrist strain. A benefit with a wireless mouse like this is that you can use it in a number of different postures.
When you have to contend with a USB cable, your movements are restricted, and shoulder pain for instance can be increased if your movements are hindered. A wireless ergonomic mouse allows you to use the mouse to the right- or left side of your keyboard or even in front of it.
Joystick Ergonomic Mouse
A joystick mouse is an excellent choice for users lacking fine motor control and who can’t grasp a regular mouse. The joystick mouse is a stationary device and its size makes it easy to move without grasping it. They are also good for people with elbow pain.
Similar to a vertical mouse, your arm and hand are held in a more upright position, but instead of gripping a mouse, you close your fingers around the joystick, using it to move the cursor.
A perfect example of a good ergonomic joystick type mouse would be the 3M Optical Mouse. True, it is a wired mouse, but it has a 6.5 ft long cord. If you can’t bear the thought of the wired mouse, there is also the wireless option. The vertical grip keeps your hand and wrist in a neutral position. The mouse in 2 sizes – small/medium and large – sees you using larger muscles to move the mouse so as to reduce discomfort.
Trackball Ergonomic Mouse
Less effort is required with a trackball mouse than a regular mouse for many people, as you scroll without actually moving the entire mouse, but rather, just roll the ball with your thumb. It is sought after by those battling with wrist pain or carpal tunnel syndrome. With a trackball mouse such as the Logitech Wireless Trackball, you move the trackball with your thumb or hand as opposed to sliding it along the desk.
With a regular mouse you move your wrist and arm to manipulate it, but with a trackball you only use your thumb. Your arm and wrist aren’t strained by the constant back and forth movement of a regular mouse. Your cursor’s accuracy improves too as the trackball mouse is sensitive to those small, precise movements.
Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
Some people get put off just by the look of the vertical mouse – it’s vertical, upright look. The idea is that the vertical computer mouse is designed to put your hand in a ‘handshake’ position for the wrist, putting less strain and stresses on your joints.
With a ‘handshake mouse’, proper orientation of the arm is achieved, resulting in reduced risk for injury. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by chronic pressure on the underside of your wrist, but with a vertical mouse, it becomes all but impossible to effect your median nerve. There are countless good vertical mice on the market for you to explore.
Ambidextrous Ergonomic Mouse
Some people are right-handed, some are left-handed while others use both hands with ease. There are ergonomic mice available for dedicated left- and right handers as well as ambidextrous mice which ensures your hand, wrist and arm are angled correctly to avoid fatigue and injury. An ambidextrous mouse lets you periodically switch between hands to operate the mouse, shouldering the strain it puts on your fingers and wrists evenly.
Choosing the Best Ergonomic Mice
An ergonomically designed mouse puts your hand in a neutral position and reduces the stress that results in carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injury. I’ve tried many ergonomic mouse types and these are just some that will remove that unnecessary strain on your hand and wrist.