If you spend most of your day in front of a PC, you probably use the mouse a lot. Traditional mouse designs are not the most comfortable accessories, though. A standard mouse might even be causing you fatigue, damaging your muscles or nerves, and slowing down your computer use.

A traditional mouse forces you to navigate the screen using uncomfortable, unnatural, and unhealthy wrist and hand positions. In the short term, you might feel muscle tension or a slight strain. In the long term, constant use could damage the wrists, arms, and hands too. An ergonomic mouse solves all those problems with proper hand and arm positioning support.

Below, we evaluate the three most popular ergonomic mice and examine their pros and cons.

Why Do You Need an Ergonomic Mouse?

An ergonomic mouse is built with the user in mind. An ergonomic mouse feels more natural than having your hand completely flat like a regular option, and it is similar to shaking hands. Consider the following reasons for switching to an ergonomic mouse:

Touchpads Are Not Ergonomic

Touchpads have one great advantage–no annoying clicks. The downside is the constant tension that goes with keeping all your fingers except one away from the touchpad. It’s a terrible position for the wrist and fingers long-term.

Placing a touchpad in front of you and using the index finger continuously places undue stress on the digit. Using a laptop’s touchpad for extended periods also hurts the neck and shoulders as hands move inwards and across the body to control the cursor.

Reduces Risk of Mouse Arm Syndrome

“Mouse arm” is a general term to refer to several types of injuries from repeated mouse use. It can cause pain in the arms, hands, shoulders, neck, and even loss of hand flexibility. With time, that pain heightens and becomes harder to reverse. An ergonomic mouse prevents this inflammation because you don’t have to hold your fingers, wrist, elbow, arm, and shoulder in a cramped position.

Prevent Carpal Tunnel, RSI

Each time you use a traditional mouse, you remove one hand from the keyboard and rotate your elbow and shoulder outward. The foreman twists to suspend your hand over the mouse before stretching your fingers to wrap around it. Your arm remains in a twisted position, creating tension on your wrist and other joints.

That kind of repetition easily causes carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury (RSI). Both conditions involve pain in the wrists, forearms, hands, shoulders, or neck. An ergonomic mouse can release tension in the wrist area and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or RSI from developing. An ergonomic accessory allows you to extend your hand and arm naturally and reduce the range of motion.

More Comfortable for Arthritis Sufferers

Traditional computer mice will always put some strain on the wrist and forearm. It is a poor choice for computer users with joint inflammation, especially if you have arthritis and need to avoid activities that twist, strain, or stretch your joints. An ergonomic mouse keeps the hand in a neutral position during use and prevents wrist pronation and twisting of the forearm muscles.

Our Favorite Ergonomic Mice

Logitech Mx Master 3 Wireless Mouse

Logitech Mx Master 3 Wireless Mouse-mac

Logitech’s newest flagship, the MX Master 3, features an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to use for extended periods. It has extremely comfortable sculpting and thumb rest, designed to work well for palm-grip users. The large size may not be suited to people with smaller hands, but its two scroll wheels and gesture commands make workflow more efficient for any type of user.

Connectivity may suffer a bit when connected to multiple devices, but the MX Master 3 makes up for that with a diverse control scheme. You can also choose preferred settings, depending on the app or program you’re using, and it works between OSs and across devices (up to three). The electromagnetic scroll wheel allows faster scrolling and a precise but quick freewheeling motion.

Evoluent Ergonomic Mouse Wireless

Evoluent Ergonomic Mouse Wireless

Besides the vertical form factor, the Evoluent Ergonomic Mouse adds an elegant, comfortable design, browser buttons, customizable software, and a smooth navigating experience. You can customize all the mouse’s buttons – a wheel, three-finger buttons, and two thumb buttons.

These options perform various functions, from regular clicking to double-clicking, launching applications, copying and pasting, and more. You can customize the configuration to an app or program and explore myriad other features, including on-the-fly dpi (dots per inch) switching and plug-and-play capabilities. While the customizable interface could look cleaner, it’s an extremely comfortable mouse to use for longer periods.

Are you a workaholic? Evoluent’s Mouse Manager software even features a tab devoted to reminding you to take breaks.

3M Ergonomic Mouse Small/Medium Wired Black

3M Ergonomic Mouse Small/medium Wired Black

The 3M Ergonomic Mouse has a phenomenal vertical grip design that looks much like a joystick. However, you don’t need to move the mouse by tilting the handle like a joystick. Rather, you drag it across the desk’s surface as for a conventional mouse.

What is different is the angle at which you work. With a grip on the handle and a hand resting on the base, the ergonomic mouse keeps hands and wrist at a neutral angle. You move the cursor by sliding your hand from side to side, and you can use a thumb to left-click and right-click.

Apart from its unusual form, everything about the 3M Ergonomic mouse is simple. Plug it into your computer, don’t worry about downloading any software, and start working. Overall, the 3M offers one of the most comfortable mouse options currently on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ergonomic Mice

What Type of Mouse Is the Most Ergonomic?

When it comes to mice, people have differing viewpoints about what looks and feels good. You’ll quickly establish that personal preference is the driving force being the decision, so go with your instinct about a clear winner in the realm of ergonomic accessories. Some mouse options will work well for gaming, while others will be more comfortable for long hours of design work.

The best ergonomic mouse is one that conforms to your unique body perfectly so that it will boost your workflow and productivity without straining joints or muscles.

How Do I Choose an Ergonomic Mouse?

It is best to select an ergonomic mouse based on the following considerations:

  • Form factor
  • Wireless capabilities
  • Buttons
  • Connectivity
  • Price
  • Left or right-handed (some can be used by both right and left-handed users)
  • DPI switch
  • Weight

Are Vertical Mouses More Ergonomic?

If you rest your arm and hand on a desk, the chances are that your hand will be close to the position of a vertical mouse rather than one that lies flat on the desk’s surface. It is a handshake position, where your shoulders naturally rotate to the external position, and there is no forearm pronation. It is the most neutral and comfortable position for most people’s arms and hands.

Vertical mice are ergonomically shaped to help users maintain the handshake design while in operation. A great vertical mouse not only prevents wrist strains and carpal tunnel syndrome but also enables people who already suffer from these conditions to continue using a mouse without aggravating their condition.

Are Trackballs Better Than Mice?

Trackballs come in two main forms: thumb-operated and fingers-operated trackballs. A finger-operated trackball lets you use different fingers or even a palm or arm to move the ball. The variety and larger muscles involved reduce the chances of injuries.

If you love everything about the traditional mouse but want to limit your forearm and wrist movements to prevent strains, a thumb trackball strikes the perfect balance.

Should You Use a Wrist Rest with a Vertical Mouse?

A person’s comfort is the main consideration. What works for one person may not suit another. It also helps to note that using a wrist rest comes with its advantages and disadvantages separate from the mouse.

If you’re using the right wrist rest for your workstation and using it correctly, there are several potential benefits. If you are using it incorrectly, it might even add potential hazards to your time in front of the screen.

What Mouse Grip Do Pros Use?

Mouse grip techniques have innumerable factors at play, and everyone displays different habits, hand-spans, and shapes. Most professionals will do what comes naturally to them. A surprising number of people prefer the palm grip—the most natural style of the three mice grip techniques.

When most people start using a computer, they use a combination of the palm grip and the fingerprint grip. The palm grip gives better accuracy and control, but the grasp’s strain is greater. It’s based on your wrist or forearm making repeated tiny movements, and this is where ergonomic accessories help ease the health risks.

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