The 8 Best Ergonomic Mice
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in May of 2016. Plenty of professions and hobbies require long hours in front of a computer screen, such as programming; editing text, video, or audio; graphic design; and gaming. If this sounds like you, you’re probably familiar with the pain your hand, wrist, and forearm may experience after hours of using a standard mouse at an unnatural angle. So check out our selection of more comfortable ergonomic mice. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best ergonomic mice on Amazon.
Who Stands To Benefit From An Ergonomic Mouse?
Dragging the mouse across its pad requires force, as does clicking it.
Regular mice can be hazardous, but they’re far from the only culprits.
While ergonomic mice are especially useful in reducing pain and discomfort for people suffering from ailments like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, switching over from a standard mouse can benefit virtually anyone. You may feel fine now, but if you spend a substantial amount of time working at a computer, you may be at risk of developing one of the conditions mentioned above or sustaining other types of repetitive strain injuries.
Office workers aren’t the only ones to consider. Think about gamers, writers, and even students; in today’s digital age, nearly everyone frequently uses a computer. When you use a mouse, you subject the same exact muscles to small, repetitive movements for prolonged periods of time that can have a greater impact on your long-term health than you may have thought. This pertains to your hand, fingers, and thumb in particular.
When these muscles become overworked and fatigued, it can result in pain, numbness, stiffness, and a restricted range of motion. Even if the strain of these motions doesn’t lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or another significant injury, there’s a solid chance you’ll have to deal with some nagging discomfort at some point. Do you ever find yourself absent-mindedly cracking your wrist or massaging your hand after hours at the computer? We thought so. We have, too.
Whether it’s intentional or not, some people squeeze the mouse forcefully when using it. With standard mice, it can be difficult to keep your wrist straight; you may bend it up, down, or sideways depending on your posture. Dragging the mouse across its pad requires force, as does clicking it. Many people use too much force in both cases. And, as you may have guessed, all of these factors lead to unnecessary strain on your fingers, hand, wrist, forearms, and shoulders.
On the bright side, an increase in public awareness of this issue has resulted in a rise in the development of ergonomic office devices. Regular mice can be hazardous, but they’re far from the only culprits. Monitors, keyboards, chairs, and workstations all have an effect on our bodies and overall posture. The secret is in identifying what’s adversely affecting your health and making the necessary adjustments.
Features And Functions To Consider
Another way that a standard computer mouse can be hazardous to your health is its awkward placement at your workstation, desk, or table. These surfaces often have limited space, which may cause you to lean forward, reach outwards, or place extra strain on your muscles by assuming other unnatural positions to help you maneuver the mouse.
Go with a simple, efficient model that you can learn to use in minutes, or select a sleek, eye-catching device with myriad curves, buttons and functionalities.
Ergonomic mice are designed so that the resting position of your hand, wrist, and arm is more natural. Some require the palm of your hand to be stationed in a vertical, upright position, which prevents the bones in your arm from crossing. Others help curb wrist movement by angling the thumb downward and encouraging you to use your arm more. In most cases, these positions are more comfortable for the user, as well.
Some options may feature an integrated trackball, which requires less forearm movement and force. As long as you’re using the proper technique with the trackball, it can potentially alleviate some of the stress your arm may feel after prolonged computer use.
A variety of models include numerous buttons placed in strategic locations across the device to facilitate certain functions. In many cases, these buttons can be re-programmed to suit your specific needs. These help create a personalized user experience and eliminate the need to reposition your arm to access the keyboard and accomplish certain tasks.
Modern technology can be a wonderful thing. Today, you can choose from ergonomic mice with powerful Bluetooth capabilities, adjustable lighting, and laser tracking systems. Some even have a built-in power-saving mode that automatically kicks in when the mouse has been idle for a certain period of time.
Some of you may prefer utility over style, while others may be seeking the flashiest piece of equipment you can find. Luckily for all of you, there’s no shortage of options or designs. Go with a simple, efficient model that you can learn to use in minutes, or select a sleek, eye-catching device with myriad curves, buttons and functionalities. As long as you’re happy and comfortable, that’s all that matters to us.
Choose The Right Model For You
As you’ve learned, ergonomic mice come in an array of shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Make sure you're aware of a particular product's attributes before you make a purchase, because specific models are designed for different types of hands and to address specific conditions. For example, some brands lag behind in designing left-handed options. If you happen to be a lefty, you’ll want to at least make sure you’re looking into mice with an ambidextrous design.
Try to identify how much resistance the thumb wheel offers.
There’s an extensive selection of ergonomic mice that feature a vertical design. Unlike standard mice, these models allow you to bend at the elbow rather than at the wrist, and position your thumb so it’s facing up. If you already have a pesky injury or ailment, this will help diminish discomfort. If you’re looking to prevent something like carpal tunnel syndrome, this is a useful option, as well.
As is the case with so many things in life, size also matters. Before you even begin considering the bells and whistles, you’ll want to ensure that the mouse truly fits your hand. The weight is important, as well. If the dragging aspect of a standard mouse is what’s causing you irritation or soreness, you may want to lean toward a lighter option. If you need something to anchor your hand, a heavy model will probably suit you better.
Hold your hand out in front you in a natural position. It’s not completely flat, right? It’s curved. That arch is important to consider when choosing an ergonomic mouse. You want the design to mimic the natural contours of your hand as accurately as possible, so that your wrist and all of your fingers enjoy the support they require. Some options feature a thumb rest, and some don’t. It comes down to personal preference, but a lot of people find that having a natural resting position for the thumb provides comfort and stability.
Finally, check out the style and placement of the thumb wheel and the buttons. Try to identify how much resistance the thumb wheel offers. With this require extra exertion on your part? Will it allow for ease of movement? Consider the number and location of the buttons as well. Are they all easily accessible? Are there too many, which could potentially create confusion?
You may be skeptical about the relevance of all of these factors now, but you’ll be glad you paid attention once you cradle that ergonomic mouse in your hand.
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