It’s very easy to get caught up in what you are doing on the computer and forget to take a break. With a standard mouse, prolonged use can cause forearm, elbow and wrist discomfort in some users.
The natural resting position of the hand wrist and forearm is a ?thumbs-up’ position. Using a standard flat mouse requires forearm muscle effort to rotate the wrist into a palm down position (pronation). To allow pronation of the hand and wrist, the two forearm bones have to pivot on the elbow effectively closing or tightening the joint space. In addition, when the hand is pronated or flat, some users find it easier to move the mouse just using the wrist. This radial (towards the thumb) and / or ulnar (towards the baby finger) bending can increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel. Increased wrist pressure is highly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Why using a Vertical Mouse is an Improvement
- The forearm is positioned in an anatomical rest position (handshake position) that requires decreased muscle use
- The wrist relaxes on the ?bony’ baby finger side and there is no compression of the soft tissue of the wrist
- The wrist remains in a comfortable neutral position and the mouse is moved using the larger muscles of the arm and not the wrist
Things to consider
- Make sure you buy a mouse that fits your hand size
- Vertical mice are obviously one handed
- The vertical mouse can increase lateral (to the side) reaching as workers often reach around to access the mouse
- Be sure you position the vertical mouse directly beside the keyboard to minimize reaching
- If an employee is experiencing elbow pain, a vertical mouse may be a good option to reduce discomfort
- You are still gripping a mouse – breaks are needed