A computer mouse is an indispensable piece of hardware. Since its inception in 1984, consumers have relied on the Macintosh to navigate the digital world’s numerous windows, icons, and menus without having to memorize an endless series of arcane keyboard instructions. Is an ergonomic mouse best for me?
Long-term use of the device may also result in musculoskeletal disorders such as De Quervain’s disease, a type of tendonitis in the thumb. Several companies have developed ergonomic mice with a design similar to ergonomic keyboards to reduce the strain on the wrists, forearms, and shoulders.
You can place your hand in a handshake position by sloping the joystick upward. The Adesso iMouse E1 and the Logitech MX910 are two examples. This reduces pronation, which is the forearm twisting that occurs when the palm is facing downward. In certain instances, the horizontal design is still utilized, but the mousepad is immovable, and a trackball controls the pointer. (See the Logitech MX Ergo and the Logitech M570, for instance.) This design may help alleviate wrist pain associated with mouse use.
Others, on the other hand, adopt a hybrid strategy. Microsoft Sculpt is an excellent example because it has enough horizontal DNA to feel familiar in your palm and enough pitch to reduce the strain on your forearms.
How We Tested Ergonomic mouse
CR evaluated eight popular models to assist you in selecting the best option. Dana Keester, the human factors specialist on the Consumer Reports consumer experience and usability research team, photographed them in a test subject’s hand and analyzed the photographs to determine how the mouse affected the subject’s wrist and arm posture.
She measured the test subject’s accuracy (hits/clicks) and efficiency (hits/targets displayed) throughout multiple trials to determine the required learning curve for mastering each mouse.
What did we discover? To acquire an excellent ergonomic mouse, you need not invest much cash. You can purchase an ergonomic mouse for $17 which is just as effective as one that costs $100. It may lack amenities such as wireless connectivity, but it will alleviate the strain on your muscles and tendons.
Remember that most models are only designed for right-handed people if you are left-handed. Several left-handed options are highlighted in the following reviews.
What to consider when selecting an ergonomic mouse?
Vertical, Horizontal, or Hybrid?
According to Keester, listening to the body determines the ideal form factor for an ergonomic mouse. Consider where you experience discomfort when using your present mouse.
By positioning your hand in a handshake posture, a vertically oriented mouse reduces pronation, which, according to Dr. Johnson, leads to reduced muscular contraction and forearm strain. It also allows you to navigate your mousepad by pivoting your elbow rather than your wrist.
Neil Carlson, an ergonomics specialist and industrial hygienist at the University of Minnesota, explains, “With a flat mouse, individuals prefer to pivot their hand from the wrist.” You may suffer soreness across the top of your wrist and hand if you perform many repetitions.
If wrist discomfort is an issue, a hybrid mouse may also be suitable. A device like the Microsoft Sculpt or Logitech MX Ergo may feel more natural in your hand than a vertical mouse while providing some of the advantages mentioned earlier.
“The forearm is fully pronated while using a conventional horizontal mouse with the hand lying palm down on the device,” explains Keester. Additionally, there is frequently chronic wrist extension, which can be troublesome.
She adds that an easy remedy is installing a wrist rest behind the mouse. But here’s another alternative:
Optical or Trackball?
Most modern mice utilize optical sensors to move a pointer over a computer screen. A little camera implanted within the gadget generates coordinates directing the cursor’s movement. These sensors have become increasingly accurate over time, enabling the exact motions necessary for professional gaming.
In comparison, trackballs appear antiquated. The cursor is controlled by the actual movement of a tiny ball attached to the gadget using the thumb. However, they give great relief to people who experience difficulty from constantly navigating the desktop with a mouse.
“Using a trackball significantly decreases the need to move the hand, wrist, or arm to move the cursor,” Keester explains. “The mouse can be positioned in a comfortable position and never moved again.”
However, this needs some adjustment, as the trackball is not as straightforward to use as an optical sensor.
Wired or Wireless?
As stated above, several high-end products in this category provide wireless connectivity. This indicates that the mouse connects to your computer through Bluetooth instead of a cord.
While it may be convenient to have one less wire dangling over your desk, it does not affect the mouse’s ergonomics. Whether you use a wired or wireless mouse, it would be best if you kept it close to reducing stress on your body. Carlson advises, “Place your palm-up hand on the desk with your shoulders relaxed and elbows close to your body.” “The mouse should be positioned just beneath your fingertips.”
It would be best if you also remembered that wireless mice are powered by batteries, which must be recharged or replaced occasionally. Whether you go for a wired or wireless mouse, you may adjust the sensitivity of its motions to find the most comfortable range of motion.
Some versions, ranging in price from $14 for the Adesso iMouse M20B to $90 for the Logitech MX 910, have a physical button that allows you to cycle through different sensitivity levels.
However, both Windows and macOS allow you to adjust the sensitivity of any connected mouse. Click the Start button > “pointer” > “adjust the mouse pointer display or speed” on a Windows machine.
On a Mac: Go to System Preferences > Mouse.
Make Sure You Have the Right Work Setup
To maximize the effectiveness of your ergonomic mouse, you must optimize your workstation.
According to Keester, the optimal working posture is one in which as many of the body’s joints as possible are in a neutral position. “The elbows should be flexed between 90 and 100 degrees, with neutral wrists in line with the shoulders.”
To attain that 90- to 100-degree elbow angle, you may need to raise your chair to place the mouse at the right height. You may also use a cushion or extra pillow to prop yourself up.
Ideally, according to Keester, your feet should be flat on the floor or a footrest, your thighs should be parallel to the ground, We should support your back in a slightly reclined position, and the monitor should be positioned so that you can read the top line of text without tilting your head back.
Final Word of Ergonomic Mouse Best
Here’s a closer look at each ergonomic mouse we studied. The models are listed according to price, from least to most expensive. For more info on how we arrived at the scoring, hover your cursor over the word ergonomics, efficiency, or accuracy.