Which Ergonomic Mouse is Best For You?

Ergonomists are often asked which mouse is the best. The answer is as diverse as their clients and products. Also, different models and types of mice continually change each year.

The simplest answer is this. The best mouse to use is the one that is most comfortable for you. There are some individuals who can use a standard mouse without any problems. But if you are using the standard mouse that came with your computer and experiencing discomfort you need to make a change.

A mouse is not a medical device and is not meant to treat an injury. However, a mouse can facilitate safe hand/arm postures and reduce the risk of further injuries. A mouse is just one part of making your workstation safer and comfortable.

6 Type of Mice and When You Might Consider Using Them


#1. Vertical Ergonomic Mice

Vertical mice are designed to help keep your hand and arm in a neutral posture (think handshake). Vertical mice are basically standard mice turned over on their sides.

Examples of vertical mice:

  • The Evoluent Mouse. This was one of the first vertical mice available. It is available wired or wireless, right and left-handed options, and for smaller hands. Some employees may find it difficult to transition to this mouse.

Applications:
-This mouse tends to be well received by accountants – they like it because it facilitates scrolling across spreadsheets.
-The reception was 50- 50 with other office staff.  Some found it to be awkward and didn’t like the three buttons.  Some employees have taken one to two days to get used to it.

  • DXT Mouse by Kinesis. This is available wired or wireless and can be adjusted for use with the left or right hand.

Application: This mouse is perfect for employees who like to alternate mousing with both hands.

  • R-Go HE Vertical mouse. The right-handed HE Mouse Wireless has a vertical grip that provides a neutral, relaxed position of the hand and wrist

Application: The RGO mouse is well received for office work. They also have left hand smaller sizes that are not typically available with other manufactures.

#2. Semi-Vertical Ergonomic Mice 

These semi-vertical mice have a gentle slope so the angle of your hand is not as steep as the vertical mice described above.  Some employees find that it is easier to transition to these mice.  The following are examples of semi-vertical mice:

  • Comfi 11 Mouse:  They are available to wireless and corded.
    Application:
    This can be ideal for people with smaller hands. 
  • The Goldtouch Mouse. There are wired and wireless versions available for left and right-handed users.  There is also a version that has a detachable flange that keeps your palm off the surface of the desk.

    Application:
    The Goldtouch mouse worked best for individuals who were wary of going to a vertical mouse with a steeper angle.  It seems to be a good transitional mouse – those who have used it for a while usually want to go onto a more vertical mouse.

#3. Adjustable Vertical Ergonomic Mice

These mice have hinges that allow users to adjust the angle.  These are often used at shared workstations.

 

  • The Oyster Mouse can be adjusted so it can be used with either the right or left hand. NOTE: This is easily broken if you don’t adjust it properly.
    Oyster Mouse - Ergonomics Now

Application: This is a good mouse for shared workstations, but it is a bit fragile and needs to be replaced often.  You need to lift up on it before you make an adjustment but most people skip that step and it literally snaps.

#4. Trackball Ergonomic Mice

Trackball mice use a ball rather than a scroll button and do not require movement of the entire mouse to move the cursor. This allows users to keep their arms motionless as the mouse stays in place (i.e. no “scrubbing” of the desktop to move the cursor. Users of multiple monitors like the ease of navigating across the screens with trackball mice.

  • Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse. This is wired and can be programmed to be used in either the right or left hand.  A wireless version is available (LOG9043690403).
  • Logitech Trackman M570. This is a wireless semi-vertical trackball mouse.  NOTE:  since the ball is operated by the thumb this may create strain.  It is only available for use in the right hand.

Applications:
-This is a good mouse for people who need to limit arm movement.
– It is also a good mouse for individuals who can alternate between mousing with their left and right hands.
– I have recommended this mouse for Telemetry stations as it is easy to navigate across multiple monitors.
– It shouldn’t be recommended for anyone who has to scroll frequently as this takes a bit more effort on this mouse and can strain the hand and fingers.

  • The Kensington Orbital Trackball is another option for a trackball mouse. It is similar to the Trackman Marble Mouse but is a bit larger.  It is wired and can be programmed for left or right-handed use.


#5. Ergonomic Roller M
ice

These unique mice are often referred to as “Roller Mice.” They are not handheld – they sit in front of the keyboard.  They are often recommended for individuals who have shoulder issues because to use them you have to keep your arms at your sides (no reaching for the mouse).  The cursor is moved by a roller or a touchpad. They can be operated with either hand as well as any finger.

NOTE: These mice sit directly in front of the keyboard so they cannot be used with specialty keyboards that have featured a built-in wrist pad, such as a Microsoft Sculpt.

  • The Roller Mouse by Contour.  The cursor is moved with a roll bar.  There is a scroll wheel and buttons that can be used for left/right-clicking/copying/pasting in front of the roll bar.Applications:
    -These mice are often recommended for employees with shoulder or finger injuries.
    -Some employees have difficulty transitioning to this mouse.
    -I prefer the Contour Roller Mouse over the MouseTrapper.  The roller on the Roller Mouse is easy to maneuver – the mesh trackpad could be difficult for someone with a finger injury to use.
  • The Mousetrapper.  This is similar to the RollerMouse.Application: It features a mesh control pad to move the cursor.  There are also control buttons to scroll, cut, copy, and paste.Product | Contour RollerMouse Free3 - rollerbar mouse - black

No matter which mouse you use please keep in mind that it is just one component of a safe workstation.  It is important to keep your hand relaxed when using a handheld mouse.  If it doesn’t track easily on your desktop and you find yourself gripping it you should consider using a mouse pad.  If you are using a trackball mouse and you find it isn’t easy to maneuver the cursor you should remove the ball and clean any dust or debris that may have accumulated.  The link below is a list of best practices for using a mouse.

You can order mice online from Pacific Ergonomics with Free shipping. CLICK HERE. 

Resources that you might find helpful:

UCLA tips for using your pointing device 

 

About the author

Janice Fletcher
Ergonomist at | + posts

Janice Fletcher is a certified ergonomics specialist with over 20 years of experience in providing preventive worksite evaluations for hospitals, clinical and office settings. She has worked with facilities planners and managers for workplace design and equipment selection. Janice has also provided ergonomic evaluations for employees with Workers’ Compensation injuries as well as for employees with non-industrial conditions that require workplace accommodations. Her favorite part of being an ergonomist is the interactive aspect and has found employees’ experiences are the key to finding solutions for creating a safer work environment