Ergonomics – Mouse

Blog Author: Aaron Smith | February 2nd, 2015

This post is courtesy of Correct Field Technician Derek Tse

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Out of all your computer equipment, what do you use the most?

If you said your mouse you’d be correct.

The mouse has been an integrated part of the whole computer experience for a long time now. Without the mouse, a lot of people would be lost as to how to navigate around their machines.

So how do you find the right mouse for your hand? Mouse down to find out…

Mice come in different shapes and functionality, from the humble basic to high-end gaming and the odd trackball and trackpad.

So what are the differences?

Let’s start with the normal mouse. This type of mouse has undergone some major changes from…

  • Using a ball to optical/laser to track movement
  • Clunky to streamline design for better handling and feel
  • Either wired or wireless

The normal mouse is good for day to day use, and can range from really cheap with simple / basic functionalities to one with sophisticated and premium grade parts. Note that it can be used with either hand.

A high-end mouse (e.g. gaming mouse) has far better quality and features such as:

  • Being able to change the weight of the mouse
  • Ergonomically shaped to suit your hand
  • Extra buttons that can be assigned to certain tasks
  • Ability to always use a more sensitive laser in order to track better on the majority of surfaces, even on glass

Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mice with a basic design are great for both left and right handed users but may not fit everyone’s hand. Because of this, incorrect long term use can lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). RSI is a major issue for today’s computer users and hardware companies acknowledge this. As a result of this new market, they produce the ergonomic mouse.

Popular ergonomic pointing devices include:

  • Ergonomically shaped mouse
  • Trackball mouse
  • Trackpad/Tablet

Ergonomic Shaped Mouse

This mouse is similar to a normal mouse but created to fully contour to fit your hand’s natural position. This helps to reduce strain for prolonged use and promotes correct hand posture.

Trackball Mouse

Trackball has been around for awhile and are very easy to use. The benefit for a trackball is that it is a stationary device and all you need to do is move the ball with either you fingers or palm of your hand. This can vastly reduce strain and help those who do have impaired hand function.

Trackpad/Tablet

Think of the laptop trackpad and enlarge it. A trackpad allows you to use your whole hand and finger gestures for easy access to certain commands. Another bonus is if you have a Wacom tablet, you can use the stylus as the pointing device if you feel comfortable holding it like a pen.

In Summary…

The mouse is an integrated device in our daily computer use. Ensuring that we look after ourselves by using the correct ergonomic product will not only help with increasing productivity, but contributes to a healthier working environment.

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