Pain Free Typing Part 2: Choosing the Right Mouse


If you thought choosing the right keyboard was daunting (see part one of this series), try cruising through the computer options of any big box store (think Best Buy, Office Max, Staples) or go onto Amazon and type in the words computer mouse. Talk about overwhelm!   Do you go with a traditional hand held mouse?  Optical? Laser? Wireless? With scrollbar?  Without? Ergo Mouse? Roller Bar?  Trackball?  Track Pad?  Joy Stick?  Gaming Mouse? Right handed?  Left handed?  Portable?  Foot Mouse?  Head Mouse?  (And yes they exist!)  No mouse at all?

If you decide to go “ergo” there are another zillion choices on the market!  So, just like we did in the Choosing The Right Keyboard post below is a chart that provides you with the pro’s and cons of different types (not brands) of mice and input devices out there.

As an added bonus, here are some of our favorite ergo mice:


No matter what device you decide is right for you, the way you use your mouse can make your mouse feel great or downright painful!  Here are some guidelines to help make you as comfortable as possible:

  • Mouse Placement:  When setting up your mouse, there are three far-reach pitfalls to consider:  Reaching forward, reaching sideways and reaching up (i.e., keyboard on keyboard tray and mouse on desktop).  Pllace your mouse so that your elbow is hanging directly under your shoulder.  This will reduce the strain on your neck and shoulder.
  • Mouse Grip (sks Death Grip): There’s no need to choke your mouse.  It’s not going anywhere!  By over gripping your mouse, you increase muscle tension in your hand and forearm which can lead to fatigue and discomfort. The next time you mouse, simply loosen your grip and rest your hand and fingers lightly on the mouse. The weight of your hand is more than enough to maneuver the mouse. If you are using a joystick or mouse pen, soften your muscles and keep your wrists loose.
  • No Twisting Please: Rather than moving your mouse from side to side at the wrist joint, allow your forearm, wrist, and hand to move together. Your fingers, wrist and hand should feel supple and fluid.
  • Back Bends: Steer clear of bending your wrists backwards. This usually occurs because your mouse either is too low or too big for your hand.
  • Key Commands:  Get to know them.  Love them.  Use them. (Key Commands for Microsoft 7, Key Commands for Mac)

If you have a favorite mouse or set of key commands, please let us know about it!!!  We’d love to share the love!

Until the next time, be happy, energized and productive!

Vivienne & Andrew, PBE Co-Founders

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