Tips for using a Computer MouseNovember 24th, 2008 by admin
After working on a computer on a daily basis, using a computer mouse becomes pretty much second nature. You never have to think about how to place your hand on the device or where to guide your mouse to navigate through the programs you are viewing on your computer screen. However, if you are experiencing wrist pain or feel like you may be experiencing signs of carpal tunnel syndrome while working long days at the office, you may want to rethink the ways you are using this handy tool.
One of the easiest solutions in improving wrist pain associated with strenuous mouse use is to invest in an ergonomic mouse. These mice don’t only look cool, but they also provide features to reduce the strain on your wrist and hand. The 3M Ergonomic mouse reduces the stress on your fingers and the chance of getting carpal tunnel syndrome by implementing a joystick manner of holding the mouse.
Here are a few tips to consider for getting the most out of your mouse with the minimal amount of pain. These tips also correlate to those who work with a digital pen, touchpad, trackball or digitizing puck.
- Hold the mouse gently and move it over the mouse pad in a gliding manner. You may want to consider the purchase of an ergonomic mouse to ease wrist pain.
- Don’t flick the mouse with your wrist. Controlled movements and a neutral mouse will reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.
- Mouse movements should be made with the elbow as the pivot point and not the wrist. Anything that restricts free movement in the hand and forearm will increase your risk for injury.
- When you’re not using the mouse, it is not necessary to keep your hand over it. This tip may be simple enough, but users sometimes unconsciously leave their hand on the mouse when not in use.
- Consider installing software that monitors your mouse usage. These programs, such as Break Reminder and ErgoManager, will recommend when it is time to take a break and track how much you are using the device.
- Use a mouse that is as flat as possible to reduce wrist extension. Find a mouse that encourages wrist movement and offers a variety in your posture. A curved mouse will increase your risk for injury.
- Avoid using a wrist cushion. Research has shown that these cushions double the pressure inside of the carpal tunnel. The use of a small wrist cushion will also force you to restrict the movement of your arms, which can also lead to wrist pain.
- Avoid any jewelry, watches or long-sleeved shirts that can restrict the blood from circulating to your wrist.
- Take note of your posture. Are you sitting up straight, or does your lower back feel better when you are hunched over your computer desk. An ergonomic mouse is designed to improve your posture.
- Vary your posture while using a computer mouse. Take breaks every hour, or stand up for a few moments to stretch your muscles.
The best placement for your mouse is right above the keyboard, near the number keypad. This promotes extension of the arm and ease of use.