Tips For Mouse Use

  • The best placement for your mouse is right above the keyboard, near the number keypad. This promotes extension of the arm and ease of use.
  • Keep wrists in straight or in neutral position. Avoid planting wrists on wrist rest or other surface.
  • Keep elbows open- at an angle greater than 90*. Keep keyboard and mouse at same level to avoid overextending the arm.
  • Avoid pounding on the keyboard. Use a light touch when keying. Consider using keyboard shortcuts to repeat common tasks.
  • Hold the mouse gently and move it over the mouse pad in a gliding manner. You may want to consider the purchase of an ergonomic mouse to ease wrist pain.
  • Don’t flick the mouse with your wrist. Controlled movements and a neutral mouse will reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.
  • Sit back in your chair, relax your arms then lift your mousing hand up, pivoting at the elbow, until your hand is just above elbow level.
  • Mouse movements should be made with the elbow as the pivot point and not the wrist. Anything that restricts free movement in the hand and forearm will increase your risk for injury.
  • When you’re not using the mouse, it is not necessary to keep your hand over it. This tip may be simple enough, but users sometimes unconsciously leave their hand on the mouse when not in use.
  • Consider installing software that monitors your mouse usage. These programs, such as Break Reminder and ErgoManager, will recommend when it is time to take a break and track how much you are using the device.

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  • Use a mouse that is as flat as possible to reduce wrist extension. Find a mouse that encourages wrist movement and offers a variety in your posture. A curved mouse will increase your risk for injury.
  • Avoid using a wrist cushion. Research has shown that these cushions double the pressure inside of the carpal tunnel. The use of a small wrist cushion will also force you to restrict the movement of your arms, which can also lead to wrist pain.
  • With a softly padded wrist rest, especially one that is rounded, or a soft chair arm rest the forearm becomes “locked” into position and this encourages people to make mouse movements by flicking the wrist, which also increases intracarpal pressure.
  • Avoid any jewelry, watches or long-sleeved shirts that can restrict the blood from circulating to your wrist.
  • Take note of your posture. Are you sitting up straight, or does your lower back feel better when you are hunched over your computer desk. An ergonomic mouse is designed to improve your posture.
  • Vary your posture while using a computer mouse. Take breaks every hour, or stand up for a few moments to stretch your muscles.
  • If you want to load share between your right and left hands, that is using the mouse for some of the time with each hand. For this you need to choose a mouse platform that can easily be configured to the left or/and right, and a symmetrical shaped mouse that can be used by either hand.
  • It is important to have plenty of room for the mouse. This is a common mistake with the mouse being placed at the edge of the desk. The result is that the user rests the arm on the wrist at the edge of the table and pivots the mouse from the wrist.
  • Choose a mouse design that fits your hand but is as flat as possible to reduce wrist extension. Don’t use a curved mouse. Use a symmetrically shaped mouse.

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