I sometimes worry about repetitive strain injury to my right wrist, when I feel the muscles tensing after twelve hours of manipulating the mouse. I once knew a woman who had to have an operation on her wrists to correct carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a painful medical condition in which the median nerve, which travels through a passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, is compressed. Her job was thought to have caused the condition – sorting eggs into trays and egg boxes at a chicken factory farm. She was a keen web surfer, and the combined strain of repetitive use of small muscles with her arms extended made them seize up.
As I’ve just bought a new laptop, I wondered about getting an ergonomic mouse. For the last few years, I’ve been using a wired optical mouse. A small travel-sized mouse came with my old laptop, and I was pleased that it caused less cramping than a conventional mouse. Made in China, they don’t last long, about two years of clicking, scrolling and sliding.
My laptop is on an over-chair table, my right hand and forearm resting flat on the mouse mat. I haven’t developed carpal tunnel syndrome yet, but pressing the median nerve against the edge of the table for 16 hours daily sometimes makes my fingers tingle; I give up then.
The best-known makers of ergonomic mouses are Logitech and Kensington and they’re pricey, but no-name vertical designs that are supposedly better for the hand start at £5.50: I bought one and it’s brilliant! No more aches and pains.
On eBay, Kensington Orbit Elite models are available from £20 – £50
Microsoft sells a similar trackball model for about £100:
Then there are various designs of finger-mounted mouse!
Many sellers fib, calling their mouse ergonomic, simply because it has a swoopy design, even though the controls are conventionally located.
Do any of you use an ergonomic mouse?