Mouse Use – What to avoid

When you watch someone play a sport, everyone uses a different technique. It’s no different using a mouse.

Do you squeeze the life out of your mouse, or do you find yourself chasing the mouse to the back of the desk?

Many of us have little quirks that we have picked up over our years of chasing the mouse around the desk.

There’s no one way to use a mouse, but there are common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Avoid using the mouse with the wrist bent to the side. You should be able to draw a straight line through the forearm and through your index/middle finger.
  2. Your wrist should be neutral while using the mouse, in line with your forearm when using it from the side. Think of the nervesi n your wrist as hoses, a kink in the hose can damage the hose and prevent the signals from getting through.
  3. Avoid resting your wrist on the desk, laptop, or keyboard. Just like putting a kink on the hose, this puts pressure on the Carpal Tunnel and can lead to discomfort in your wrist or hand.
  4. Avoid over gripping your mouse but relax your hand overtop of the mouse. Some people squeeze their mouse like they are doing hand exercises.
  5. Watch your mouse hand when you are working in a mouse intensive program – do you ‘relax’ your hand when you aren’t using the mouse or do you continue to tense your muscles around the mouse when it is not needed?

If you hover or hold, try resting the side of your hand (palms face in) on the desk or wrist rest when your computer is doing the work instead. Or you can take this opportunity to streatch your arms. Even for just a few seconds this neutral “microbreak” greatly reduces repetitive strain.