Benefits of using an ergonomic mouse
Computers are now a major part of our lives, with most of us using one daily and often for long periods of time. We are now starting to see the impact of this on our bodies.
A ‘normal’ computer mouse requires you to make small, exact movements with your hands when you click, scroll and move about the desktop. These tiny muscles can be easily overworked, causing you pain in these areas:
- top of the hand
- around the wrist
- along the forearm and elbow
Problems associated with using a computer mouse include pain, tenderness, stiffness, tingling, numbness or cramp caused by repetitive movements. More extreme symptoms may include pins and needles, thumb weakness, dull ache in hand or arm caused by compression of the median nerve (which controls sensation and movement in the hands).
Whether your wrists are just starting to ache, or you have been diagnosed with RSI, wrist tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be time to invest in an ergonomic mouse. Wor Bill, who works in the admin office, has just updated his wireless, ergonomic mouse and he’s very impressed with its cool, modern design 🙂
Ergonomic Mouse & Wrist Positions
Consider what happens when working with a typical mouse; In order to grip the mouse as it lies flat on the desk, your wrist and forearm must pronate, or rotate internally. This reduces the joint space between the two bones making up the forearm (ulna and radius), thereby putting the wrist in a relatively uncomfortable position.
Then consider the natural resting position of your wrist; When your hands fall to your sides, they likely do so with your palms facing inwards. As you bend at the elbow so as to form a 90 degree angle, the most natural position is for the wrist to remain neutral, as if you’re about to shake someone by the hand.
An ergonomic mouse reduces the risk of painful symptoms by supporting your hand to prevent unnecessary strain, and if you use it in connection with a mouse mat that includes a wrist-pad, it will also support your wrist.
It takes a little time to get used to the new way of working, but it soon becomes comfortable and pleasant to use, and we strongly recommended one for people who use computers on a daily basis.
Self-care & Prevention
When carrying out repetitive work it is important to take short rest breaks, particularly when working at a keyboard, to refresh the muscles/tendons.
Incorporate a short exercise of flexing the arm and wrist to remove the feeling of strain, stimulating circulation and thereby refreshing the system and removing the toxins that build up when you are still for too long.
For anyone experiencing pain, tingling or numbness, it is important to recognise what is happening to your body and report symptoms to your employer and GP. One of the NIHP practitioners can also provide the best treatment, and give suggestions/ exercises for helping yourself at home and work.
You may also be interested in Self-care: hands and forearms massage.