Tips for Using Your Mouse
Get the Right Mouse
Mice come in a variety of sizes, shapes and configurations, and it’s important to select the right device for your size and the type of work that you perform at your workstation. While working, try to maintain a neutral wrist posture by making adjustments to your chair, keyboard tray, etc. If you are experiencing wrist pain, consider using an alternative pointing device such as a touch pad of trackball. Note that trackballs decrease the distance your shoulder has to travel which can be helpful; however, they also put more strain on the fingers and hands.
Keep it Close
Keep your tracking device close to the keyboard and within easy reach, so that you do not tire your muscles by over-stretching when reaching for the mouse. Do not place your mouse on the desk if you use a keyboard tray! Consider purchasing a proper keyboard tray with a mouse tray that is adjacent to the keyboard platform. We carry a variety of these keyboard trays with various mouse trays. If you do not use your 10-key pad, consider a mouse tray that goes over the key pad.
Use Good Posture
Sit with your back supported against the backrest of your chair, and keep your shoulders relaxed. Keep your arm close to your side and maintain your elbows at a 100 to 110 degree angle. Lightly supporting your forearm on your armrest can help keep your shoulders relaxed.
Use Proper Mouse Techniques
Limit your mouse or tracking device use by incorporating keyboard shortcuts in to your work techniques. Use the available keystrokes such as Ctrl+S to save, Ctrl+P to print, Alt-Tab to move between screens, etc.
Limit Time Using the Mouse
The best remedy for a pointing device injury is rest! Take 1 - 2 minute stretch breaks every 15 - 20 minutes of working.
Use Other Hand to Operate Mouse
Switching hands, or “sharing the load”, limits the amount that each hand has to work. While most of us may think we can’t mouse with our other hand, it takes most people just a few days to get used to the change. This may require purchasing a keyboard tray with dual mouse platforms, or one where the mouse platform can be easily re-positioned from side to side. We have a number of these keyboard trays available.
Adjust Software Settings
Most tracking devices have software setting that you access through your control panel, including sensitivity and speed. If the sensitivity of the mouse is not set up properly you may be using more force and awkward hand postures to control your mouse. The speed should be adjusted so that you can easily and naturally control the device, while maintaining a neutral posture.
For additional workstation tips check out our ERGOresources center!