Studies have shown that carpal tunnel syndrome is the most commonly reported workplace-related repetitive stress injury, with one of the biggest culprits being the computer mouse.
Improper usage of a mouse over a certain period of time can result in various injuries to our wrists, shoulders, and fingers. In this article, we will dive into everything you ought to know about ergonomically using a mouse to reduce wrist injuries.
The most ergonomic position to use a mouse
The best position to use a mouse is to minimise any awkward postures on your arm, wrist, and fingers. In ergonomics, awkward postures mean unnatural positions, such as overreaching, twisting, and bending.
Hence, with that being said, here are some ergonomic ways to hold a mouse:
1. Pick the right-sized mouse
Most of the time, we adopt unnatural postures when we use a mouse that is too big or small for our hands. Yes! There is such a thing as the wrong-sized mouse. A mouse is considered too small for your hands when most of your palm is not adequately rested flat on the mouse. On the other hand, a mouse is considered too big for your hands when the edge of the mouse protrudes past your wrist.
Using an improperly sized mouse generates unnecessary tension in your hands as your move your fingers to operate it.
2. Avoid excessive windshield motions
Our wrists are packed with nerves, tendons, and blood vessels that, when agitated, can lead to wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Excessive windshield motions at the wrist joint can agitate them. When using a mouse, minimising any excessive radial and ulnar deviation of the wrist is critical. This can easily be done by:
- Learning to manoeuvre the mouse by keeping the wrist stationary and pivoting at the elbow.
- Taking micro-breaks and conducting daily wrist and hand exercises.
- Increasing the mouse’s sensitivity (DPI) such that you require smaller movements to move the cursor.
3. Position your mouse within reach
One crucial point to note is to make sure that you are not over-stretching your arm to use your mouse. The right angle that your arm should be at is when your elbow is within 90 to 100 degrees, with your mouse placed close to your keyboard. If this is difficult to achieve, then getting an under-desk keyboard and mouse tray is an ideal way to do so. Improper position leads to an increased risk of injuries and stress on your operating shoulder and arm.
4. Avoid gripping the mouse
Another crucial point to note is to make sure you are not gripping your mouse. It happens if you are using a mouse that is not the correct size. Gamers, especially those who require extra responsiveness and agility from their fingers, also tend to grip their mouse. Gripping over a period of time damages the ligaments and nerves in the fingers.
To make sure that you are not gripping the mouse, take a look at how you are holding your mouse. Make sure that your fingers and entire palm is fully rested on your mouse.
How can I avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?
The ideal way to hold a mouse is using the handshake method. It is the ideal position that adopts a natural, neutral wrist position when at rest. Using an ergonomic mouse, such as Logitech MX Ergo Vertical Wireless Ergonomic Mouse, can help you achieve the proper wrist posture.
Adopting good ergonomic posture is vital in the workplace, especially if your job requires you to be desk-bound for an extended period of time. Ensuring such beneficial habits not only helps you prevent the development of any muscle and joint injuries but also can lead to increased productivity and focus.
If you are looking to improve your workplace or study ergonomics, from ergonomic mouse and keyboard to ergonomic chairs and adjustable study tables, then look no further than TakeAseat. We have a wide range of ergonomic furniture and accessories at our furniture shop in Ubi and Woodlands. For more information, visit us at https://www.takeaseat.sg/.