Richard/Mouse

Question: I’ve just been going through your resources on your site and very useful they are too so many thanks to you. You mention somewhere that more than the keyboard it is the mouse that can make RSI worse. I did not find further info on that in the files. Have I missed something? I am now seriously considering alternatives for the mouse so would appreciate info/advice.

Answer 1: I don’t have a lot of stuff on the mouse, but there is a pointing devices FAQ on the Typing Injury website, which is worth getting. There are lots of alternative devices around, but a key thing to think about is how your hand/arm will be supported while using the mouse device – for this reason, perhaps, trackballs tend to be quite popular. Devices that don’t need to roam around, e.g. trackballs and touch pads, can also be used in your lap, which can lead to a better posture. Whichever one you use, try to keep the device as close as possible to the keyboard, and at exactly the same height – often mouse height causes more problems than keyboard height, because of the added reach required, so do look at the Caring for Your Wrists sheet (wrists.pdf) to set up your workstation. You may be able to continue using a normal mouse – look at your workstation setup, work patterns, breaks, etc, and if there is still a problem then look at changing mouse hand and/or other devices.

Answer 2: I have a mouse-related question. Presumably, the Microsoft Mouse 2 is the one that is ergonomised to fit the curvature of the hand. The only problem is that it is designed for right-handed use. Is there a left-handed version, or do Bill’s minions not recognise the existence of us left-handed folk.

Answer 3: I’m using a normal mouse in conjunction with a device that supports the wrist while allowing quite a bit of movement over the mouse mat. It clamps to the desk adjacent to the mouse mat and has an adjustable-height arm that swivels; at the end of the arm is another, attached to the first with an elbow joint, and at the other end of this second arm there’s a swiveling, padded support. There’s no maker’s name on it, but I could probably find out where it came from if anyone’s interested. (I’ve only recently joined this group, so please forgive me if this is old news that everyone knows about!) I’ve just visited the Typing Injuries FAQ and the ContourMOUSE looks interesting as it claims to eliminate the twisting of the wrist that I think is causing my problem — does anyone know if the ContourMOUSE is available in the UK?

Answer 4: I know it is asymmetric but I actually use it in my left hand with no problem – if you ignore the leftward swerve of the mouse at the bottom (viewed from above) there is plenty of bulk in that area on which to rest your hand. Personally I think it should be symmetric but it does work well for left hander use. It also comes with some excellent mouse usage guidance as part of its ergonomic workstation setup help. You may want to just install the help file since the Intellipoint software supplied is typically very buggy. It works fine with Windows 3.1, 95 and NT using standard mouse drivers.


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