Introduction to Ergonomic Computer Mice

An ergonomic mouse is one of the top 3 most important aspects of a highly ergonomic workstation. Along with ergonomic chairs and ergonomic keyboards, an ergonomic mouse can drastically improve comfort and productivity while computing. Ergonomic mice are designed to position your hands in a more natural posture, thereby minimizing the risks of long-term damage from computing such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries (RSI).

There are many ergonomic mice on the market today, and while some are light years ahead of others in terms of design, they all rely on the basic principle of increasing user comfort. You will find mice in varying shapes, forms and colors, and some that look downright strange. Ergonomic-Mouse-Guide.com strives to clear up the confusion on ergonomic mice, and provide visitors with useful information that will help guide them to the best ergonomic mouse for their setting.

Using an Ergonomic Mouse Can Reduce Hand Pain and Discomfort

If you use a computer on a daily basis then you are all too familiar with hand pain. There is no doubt about it, using a standard computer mouse for hours and hours every day will result in pain and strain, and if not addressed within a reasonable amount of time this can escalate to long-term injuries and conditions. Educating yourself on the different types of ergonomic mice available and reading other people’s reviews of each mouse can help you make a smart purchase.

If you’re currently using a standard old-school computer mouse, and your hands are feeling the pain, you’ve come to the right place. The information provided on this website will help you choose the perfect ergonomic mouse that will provide you with years of comfort and enhanced productivity.

Ergonomic mice vary widely in price but price alone cannot be the determining factor in the ultimate quality of the unit. There are also varying degrees of “ergonomicness” in each mouse which usually correlates to the price. You can find some ergonomic mice for about $20, which will utilize only very basic ergonomic principles, and you can find mice upwards of $100 and beyond. The most expensive mice are usually cutting-edge and utilize various ergonomic aspects in their design. Which mouse you need relies on a few different factors:

How often are you on the computer?

Do you primarily use a desktop computer or a laptop?

How long have you been using computers for?

What’s your budget when it comes time to buy a new mouse?

Once you can answer these basic questions you are already on your way to determining the best ergonomic mouse for your particular needs.

Evoluent Vertical Mouse

The now famous Vertical Mouse by Evoluent is a truly unique ergonomic computer mouse. Its patented sideways “handshake” design puts the users wrist and arm in the proper ergonomic position. This position prevents arm twisting which is one of the main causes of forearm pain and strain.

It definitely takes some time to get used to using a vertical mouse because it is very different from the standard mouse everyone is accustomed to using at the computer. However, a good majority of the people who try the Evoluent Vertical Mouse for at least a few weeks report increased comfort while mousing and less strain in the arm and wrist areas.

The Evoluent VerticalMouse has come a long way since its debut back in 2002. The original release was an instant hit among ergonomics enthusiasts which led to a slightly improved design released in 2004, labeled the VerticalMouse 2. This ergonomic mouse was black and purple in color and marked the time period where Evoluent really became well-known and people started buying this mouse like crazy. It became so popular that users started to request new colors be available, as well as a version for left-hand mousers which was not yet available.

In 2007 Evoluent released the Vertical Mouse 3 with marked improvement over version 2, including upgraded technology inside the mouse and an improved exterior design now in a silver and black color scheme. Its popularity continued to grow as more and more people tried the mouse and spread the word to their friends and co-workers that it does in fact improve comfort while mousing. Just as important, it helps prevent the onset of serious long-term injuries including repetitive stress injuries (RSI) like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

In 2008 Evoluent released a Wireless model of their famous mouse to further extend their reach into the market. Evoluent’s success is a great motivator to others who may have a great idea for a product that could help people enhance comfort, decrease the chances of injuries, and increase productivity.

Click here to buy the Evoluent Vertical Mouse from an Authorized Dealer

Humanscale Switch Mouse

The Humanscale Switch Mouse is an innovative mousing solution that boosts comfort and reduces the risk of injury. To your left is a video presentation comparing the Switch Mouse to an ordinary computer mouse. This groundbreaking peripheral device integrates two major innovations – a V-shaped base, which puts the wrist and forearm into a natural pronation for left or right-handed users, and size adjustability to provide a perfect fit for any computer user. Other features include a built-in palm support to prevent contact stress on the wrist, four-way scrolling dish to minimize repetitive motion, and programmable buttons for user-specified functions. All of this adds up to the most customizable and ergonomic mouse ever created.

Features

  • V-shaped base positions wrist and arm at a natural angle
  • Scrolling dish provides vertical and horizontal navigation
  • Adjustable length ensures proper fit for most users
  • Integrated palm support eliminates contact stress and reduces risk of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Symmetric shape accommodates left or right-handed use
  • Encourages the use of large arm and shoulder muscles, allowing delicate hand and wrist muscles to relax
  • Programmable buttons for user-specified functions

Specifications

  • Certified for Windows and Mac OS
  • Cable Length: 150 cm (59″)
  • USB Connector
  • Resolution: 800dpi
  • Technology: Optical scanning technology
  • Switch: Micro Switch
  • Current Consumption: Max70mA
  • Switch Mechanical Life: 1,000,000 cycles

Click here to buy the Humanscale Switch Mouse with FREE shipping

3M Ergonomic Mouse

This ergonomic computer mouse by 3M is another oldie but goodie. Its been around for quite some time and since it’s manufactured by a well-known, respectable brand many studies have been done to prove its effectiveness. The concept of the design of this mouse is similar to the Evoluent, being that it features a “vertical” grip handle that puts your wrist and hand at a neutral angle. 3M never put out a lefty version of this product, so it’s always been for right-handed people only. It is very simple to use – grip the handle and rest your hand on the base, then use your thumb to click the left and right top buttons. It also has a third button where your fingers rest that enables scrolling in some applications (like web browers). There is also a wireless model available now in case cords just aren’t your thing, but you’ll pay a bit more for this one. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) has publicly commended the 3M Ergonomic Mouse for its ease-of-use, and over the years it has shown to have a very low return rate (most people love it) and a very low defective rate (it is made surprisingly well).

This mouse is available in two sizes which helps it fit the hands of a wider base of people. If the width of your palm is between 2.75-3.5″ you should go with the small model (wired or wireless), and if your palm is over 3.5″ wide go with the large version. Traditional computer mice require forearm pronation (twisting) which can cause pressure on the wrist and carpal tunnel area. Some people are a little put off at first by the looks of a mouse like this, but a good majority of those who use it for at least a few days find that it does help alleviate some pain and discomfort. 3M gives you a 2-year warranty so in the rare case something does go wrong it’s not a problem to get it replaced.

Click here to buy this 3M Ergonomic Mouse from an Authorized Dealer

Zero Tension Mouse

The Zero Tension Mouse was designed a few years ago by Dr. Michael Leahy. Its primary purpose is to relax all the muscle groups that cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. The idea behind this ergonomic mouse is if the muscles in your body that you normally use with a standard mouse can be relaxed while mousing than there is a very good chance you will feel more comfortable, be able to work longer hours without pain, and prevent any future health conditions.

The makers of the Zero Tension Mouse claim that their mouse does this job better than any other ergonomic mouse on the market, but this a bold claim. The truth is this mouse doesn’t do anything better for you than the Evoluent Vertical Mouse, or 3M Ergonomic Mouse does. The marketing of the product may be better and that’s why it is such a good seller. The Vertical Mouse by Evoluent and the Zero Tension Mouse are the two best selling ergonomic mouse input devices, but we think the Evoluent mouse is manufactured better, and will last longer. The Zero Tension Mouse has a high defective rate – which is a sign they are made with cheap materials and/or not put together very well.

The manufacturer’s website goes into really in-depth detail about how all of the muscles in the hands, arms and shoulders work when using a computer mouse. It is interesting information, but the real main function of this mouse is to simply put your hand and wrist in the “handshake”, or vertical, position to reduce muscle tension. Some people find this mouse to be amazing and some people just cant get used to it and go back to a standard mouse.

The makers of the Zero Tension Mouse say that the most important feature of the mouse is it’s ability to relax the shoulder and neck. Truthfully, this is the least important feature because almost nobody is going to rest the weight of their arm and shoulder on their computer mouse. This is something that has more to do with your worksurface, and what the position of your keyboard and mouse is relative to how you are seated. Arm and shoulder fatigue is much more easily controlled with an ergonomic keyboard tray for your desk, an ergonomic mouse is really to ease strain in your hand and wrist… you can’t expect it to go beyond that, or you will be disappointed. Nonetheless, a mouse like this may help hand and wrist strain for some people, unless of course you can’t stand using it after a week like most people.

We really don’t recommend this mouse and we believe a smarter decision would be the 3M Stick Mouse, or Evoluent Mouse.

Ergonomic Mouse Fundamentals

The primary purpose of an ergonomic computer mouse is to relieve hand tension and prevent serious long-term health risks, namely Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). Many of us use computers on a daily basis and it is hard to ignore the fact that very few computer workstations are ergonomically correct. It is extremely important to take the proper precautions and buy the proper gear to prevent yourself from developing any debilitating injuries from prolonged computing with poorly designed input devices.

A basic computer mouse is by no means designed for daily use. In terms of ergonomics, a standard mouse is only acceptable to use for about 20 minutes before a break of an equal amount of time is recommended. Think about how often you spend more than 20 minutes at the computer, its probably every day like most of us. Now imagine if your boss would let you take breaks from doing your work every twenty minutes to give your hands a break, its highly unlikely. This is why using a well-designed ergonomic mouse is the only way to go. It is a smart, effective way of enhancing your comfort, preventing injuries and increasing productivity.

Ergonomic mice have specific design features that set them apart from standard computer mice. One of the most obvious differences is the natural, sloped, hand-conforming shape of an ergonomic mouse. This is to provide your hand with more support and to reduce tension in the small, sensitive hand muscles. Similar to how a good sole in your shoe will conform to the bottom of your foot, an ergonomic mouse is made to “fit like a glove”. Some are even size-adjustable or are produced by the manufacturer in different sizes, to fit each and every unique user’s hands.

Some of the ergonomic mouse devices you will find will seem downright strange looking. In fact, the most popular mouse of them all is the Vertical Mouse by Evoluent which actually turns your hand sideways into the “handshake” position. This is said to reduce hand tension and eliminate arm twisting, which according to user reviews it does very well. Some say that it takes a little while to get used to the new feel of a mouse like this one, but for most people it is worth the wait and it proves to increase mousing comfort. Evoluent also makes a left-hand version of their mouse as well as a wireless version, but if going cordless is your goal there are also a few decent ergonomic bluetooth mouse devices available you can take a look at.

Buying an ergonomic computer mouse is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of ergonomics and to become more familiar with the needs of your body. After a top-notch mouse is attained users usually next opt for an ergonomic keyboard, followed by an adjustable keyboard tray to hold both the keyboard and the mouse and to allow them both to become fully articulating, or movable. Once you have the right peripherals and you’re able to adjust them accordingly you can look into what types of ergonomic seating are in your budget. While some are priced beyond most of our reach you can find a well-built ergonomic chair for $300-$600 that will last for many years and will help better support your hard-working back muscles. Fairly new to the field of ergonomics, but quickly gaining traction, are performance Gunnar glasses that help protect your eyes and increase comfort when spending long periods of time in front of a screen or monitor.