Learn how to choose an ergonomic mouse with this easy-to-follow guide that will quickly take you through the essential information that you need to know in a concise manner. Many people neglect to take even 5 minutes to research the type of mouse that they should invest in. Consequently, they’re often left unsatisfied with a mediocre mouse that doesn’t include the features that they desired or fails to perform to the standard that they desired.
In this article, I swiftly bring you through every consideration you need to make in a straight-forward and practical manner. With everything that you need to know in one simple article, and no waffle, what more could you want?
So, what mouse would suit you best?
Well, read on to find out! You may also be treated to some fun facts and tips along the way!
Left or right-handed
Purchasing hand-held items for left-handed people can become restrictive, especially when such items are not designed to be ambidextrous. Fortunately, most mice, and indeed ergonomic mice, are designed to accommodate both left and right-handed individuals. When choosing a mouse as a left-handed person, an important consideration is to confirm that the mouse is either ambidextrous or suitable to left-handed people.
This could involve reviewing the spec for the mouse to see if the key functions are interchangeable or alternatively, verifying the query with the sales agent or manufacturer to ensure you don’t have to endure the torture that is returning unsuitable gadgets, or worse still, wasting your hard-earned money on it and letting it sit gathering dust!
Tip: Opting for an ambidextrous mouse is generally preferable as it becomes less restrictive, e.g., if a right-handed person needs to use your mouse or you use a shared computer at work or home.
Size of hand
Using equipment that is not the correct size for you can be uncomfortable. Such activities typically force your body to deviate from a neutral posture to accommodate the size of the equipment. The same applies to a mouse. If your mouse is too large for your hand, your fingers will need to stretch to reach the buttons while using it. Additionally, you may experience a poor grip as your hand strains itself to wrap itself around the mouse.
On the other hand (no pun intended hehe), a person who uses a mouse that is too small for them will likely have to bend their fingers to fit the mouse, and also to click on the button or use the cursor. Both scenarios are likely to lead to pain and discomfort in the long run and could cause muscular and joint issues in the wrist and forearm.
If you are unsure of your hand size, a good tip is to measure your hand to quickly determine if it will be suitable for a standard sized mouse.
To calculate your hand size, simply measure from the base of your wrist to the top of your middle finger. A small sized mouse measures 15cm or less. A medium-sized mouse suits a hand that measures between 15 to 17.8cm. A large sized mouse fits someone with a hand measuring 17.8cm or greater.
15cm or less
15cm – 17.8cm
17.8cm or more
Application of ergonomic mouse
How you intend to use your ergonomic mouse will probably dictate the type of mouse that you should choose. If you are someone who intends on using it for gaming, you would require different needs and specifications compared to someone else using it for regular computer activities.
A standard mouse is generally equipped with a scroll wheel and two keys for left and right clicking and they are usually designed with a traditional teardrop shape.
A primary difference between a gaming mouse and a computer mouse is the sensitivity of the mouse to detect movement; this is measured in dots per inch (DPI), this determines the ability of a mouse to detect movement of the user. It’s an important factor when performing tasks and for gamers or users who cannot accept or tolerate poor cursor response rates.
Additionally, a gaming mouse will have additional buttons with functions designed to optimize the user’s gaming performance and give them the edge over their components.
But would a gaming mouse be suitable for a person doing normal computer activities?
Sure! In fact, for someone who performs a significant amount of computer work and simply delights in the ability to have customizable keys along with a stylish design, precision, accuracy and premium comfort levels, then a gaming mouse would easily trump standard mouse and even some ergonomic mice too.
After all, gamers are some of the most hardcore users of the mouse, and as result, manufacturers seriously need to step up to the mark if they are to compete with other producers and win the audience and trust of gaming enthusiasts.
An adjustable mouse comes available in two primary styles, as an oyster mouse or a unimouse. These feature an adjustable angle which allows you to vary the tilt of the mouse to your personal preference. The benefit of this is that you can ease yourself in and build up gradually to a vertical position which will minimize wrist pronation.
Of course, having a choice on the mouse tilt is always more desirable than being forced to use a single set position. After all, who doesn’t love choice?
Additionally, if you suffer from inflammation, injuries or arthritis in your hand or wrist, a unimouse features even more adjustments in the form of an articulating thumb support. The CMC (Basal) joint is a region of the hand which can become pinched and painful if a particular grip is held on the mouse.
The thumb support therefore assists in minimizing pinching and awkward gripping of the mouse, which leaves you feeling much more comfortable and less prone to aggravating the joint and repetitive strain injuries in general.
With a standard mouse, there are only 2 buttons for you to play around with. It does the trick if you’re not someone who is big on technology or shortcuts. But for those of you who thrive on increasing their efficiency and using shortcuts to perform their tasks with ease and agility, extra shortcuts buttons are a must have!
Laser or trackball
The fundamental difference between a laser and a trackball is the requirement to physically move the mouse around to move the cursor on the screen. Most mice are laser mice, which means that they detect movement by means of a laser or light positioned on the under surface of the mouse.
In contrast, a trackball mouse incorporates a ball positioned on the mouse. This ball is rolled around to move the cursor, but the mouse itself stays in a static position. It’s usually positioned in the thumb region, but it can also be positioned in the front and centre of the mouse, adjacent to the buttons.
You’re probably pondering what the benefit of this is? Well, if you don’t need to move the mouse around the table, it reduces the amount of wrist movement and this ultimately can decrease strain and overuse of the wrist and arm. So, you are making small finger movements instead of whole upper body movements.
Since the trackballs are often located near the thumb, consideration should be taken to ensure it suits the hand that you use the mouse with.
Tip: Trackball mice can be a convenient option if you’re working in a space-restricted area or you’re looking to make less noise.
The most common shape that a traditional mouse is available in is the teardrop shape. Mice are frequently purchased in a vertical shape, but they are also available in an array of other shapes, including:
- Vertical mouse
- Oyster mouse
- Stylus mouse
- Roller bar mouse
- Foot mouse
How your mouse operates is another consideration to make. Wired mice are becoming a thing of the past, and it’s a probably for the best in one sense. There’s much more freedom in terms of dealing with fewer cables as you’re not confined to the length of the cable. It also makes the area look tidier and neater as opposed to having trailing cables dangling over your documents.
The most common connection methods include:
Did you know? Some wireless mice can function from a range of 15m from the place it is plugged in!
As you’re probably aware, most budget-entry mice available have little to no ergonomic features. That’s perfectly fine if you are happy to use a standard mouse and don’t want or require the ergonomic features and benefits that are associated with an ergonomic mouse.
If, however, you are looking to prevent the onset of wrist injury or strain, or perhaps you’re trying to minimize the pain and discomfort that a standard mouse brings, then paying slightly more for the features that you require will be a lifelong investment that you won’t regret.
You’ll be glad to hear that the price of a mouse is relatively low to begin with; furthermore, you can acquire a decent ergonomic mouse for about 30% more than the cost of a regular ergonomic mouse. This could be as little as 5 dollars/euro/pound more, which is not going to break the bank by any means!
Some of the superior features available include:
- increased battery life
- longer range of distance for wireless mice
- lifetime guarantee
- range of colours to choose from
- energy-saving mode
- greater compatibility with operating systems
So, if you’re paying anywhere from 20 dollars/euro/pound upwards, you should expect to get a decent quality mouse that suits your needs! Of course, it’s like anything, pay a little more and you will probably get more features and a higher quality performance. It’s just a matter of deciding how many you need or want and how much you’re willing to pay.
I hope this article has provided you with the necessary information you need to choose an ergonomic mouse that best suits you. By now, you should be considered a subject matter expert on all things related to ergonomic mice! I also hope that this article has given you the essential data to confidently choose a mouse.
It’s a relatively straight-forward process once you have decided what you’re looking for in an ergonomic mouse. Do you use an ergonomic mouse, or do you intend to purchase one? What features do you look for in a mouse? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
The benefits to an ergonomic mouse are endless. If you’re unsure as to why literally hundreds of thousands of people are now opting for an ergonomic mouse over a standard mouse, you can find out exactly why here: 7 benefits of an ergonomic mouse – why you need one
Don’t be left in the past while everyone else catapults into the future with more responsive, comfortable and stylish computer equipment. Make the switch today, I can guarantee that your body will thank you for it. I made the switch to an ergonomic mouse, and I haven’t looked back!