Computer Mouse Ergonomics

Written by Erwann Marshall
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The most consistently missed aspect of computer desk use is the science behind computer mouse ergonomics. Some people, like graphic designers and layout editors, can damage the delicate bones of the hands and wrists by improperly using a mouse over extended periods of time. Others may choose to use the mouse sparingly, but will reach for them in a manner that causes discomfort and back pain.

Computer mouse ergonomics begins with the measurement between the person seated at his or her desk and the mouse pad. The mouse must be placed within the Neutral Reach Zone (the area around the body easily reached by the arm in a relaxed and parallel position) and should be given enough room on the pad to be moved about without obstruction. If the individual has an articulated keyboard with room set aside for a mouse, it should be placed there.

Like an ergonomically positioned keyboard, the mouse should be angled to help the wrist stay in straight alignment with the arm. The hand must curve around the mouse in a calm manner, without tension between the thumb and little finger. If a trackball is in use, it can be placed so that the hand floats above the ball with the wrist and arm parallel with the floor.

More Questions About Computer Mouse Ergonomics?

Because there are literally thousands of different mouse and trackball designs on the market today, you may need help with choosing one that fits the size and build of your hand. Speak to a professional expert in computer mouse ergonomics, or talk directly to a manufacturer to get the best information you need to narrow your search. Keep the receipt and try the mouse out for at least a week; if your wrist continues hurting or begins to develop pain after this trial period, return it.


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