Repetitive strain injuries—often called RSIs for short—are a set of musculoskeletal disorders caused by holding an unnatural position for too long, or by repeating the same motion over and over again. Typing on a keyboard and using a mouse have both been known to cause RSIs after years of using a computer every day, and these ailments tend to manifest initially as pain, weakness, or numbness in your fingers and wrists. These conditions can often be alleviated by avoiding the offending position; however, this is not always possible and occasionally the effects of RSIs can be both long tern and debilitating, often requiring surgery in extreme cases. An Ergonomic Mouse is an excellent solution.
If you spend a long time using a computer, for whatever purpose, it is important to consider the ergonomics of your environment, and while most computer users consider things like space requirements, monitor height and positioning, keyboard and chairs, the humble mouse is often neglected. Prolonged use of a mouse can cause problems related to wrist health such as carpel tunnel syndrome and using the right type of mouse can help minimise aches and pains.
There are options available for both gamers and general office work, and for full flexibility of movement we will only examine wireless mice as wired units can be restrictive and lack the flexibility to be easily used across multiple devices. Chances are that when you find a mouse that fits your requirements you will want portability so that it can be used in the office and in the home.
Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball Mouse
Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball Mouse, Bluetooth or 2.4GHz with Unifying USB-Receiver, Adjustable Trackball Angle, Precision Scroll-Wheel, USB-C Charging Battery, PC / Mac / iPad OS – Black: Amazon.co.uk: Prime Video
- Adjustable 0°–20° angle: customize the trackball angle of this ergonomic mouse from 0 to 20 degrees for a more natural, comfortable hand position that reduces muscle strain
- Comfort: 20% less muscular fatigue than a regular Cordless computer mouse
- Precision scroll-wheel: precise scrolling, horizontal scrolling, and other convenient controls with tilt and middle click wheel
- Precision mode button: switch instantly between accuracy or speed mode tracking. Nominal value: 380 DPI. Minimal and maximize value: 512 DPI - 2048 DPI
- Multi-device + multi-OS: move your cursor, files, and links across two screens — even between Windows and Mac OS
The Logitech MX Ergo is a premium device with both 24Ghz and Bluetooth connectivity which is an unusual feature and ensures compatibility with the broadest range of equipment. In addition, it can be re-charged via a USB-C cable avoiding the need to carry replacement batteries and reducing the overall weight of the device. The most interesting feature however is the trackball which reduces the need to physically move the body of the mouse and makes things far more comfortable during prolonged use and reduces the risk of strain related injuries. Trackball devices were popular for certain uses many years ago, however they lost their appeal and were only really used for machine interfaces and industrial use where space is at a premium.
In use, there is a bit of a learning curve, however this is soon overcome and becomes second nature very quickly. The mouse is very well made with premium materials and comes with some useful customisation software. Underneath the mouse is a metal plate that attaches to the body of the device and allows for it to be tilted to a varying angle of up to 30 degrees offering full customisation for the user’s requirements allowing for a very natural orientation and further reducing strain.
The mouse features a pulsing charge indicator to show battery level and can be charged directly from the computer of by using a phone charger. Charging is not something that needs to be done regularly as a full charge will typically last four months and a fast charge of just one minute will provide a whole day of use.
After the mouse has been set up and the software installed you can customise it is eight buttons and adjust tracking speeds via a simple to use interface that shows exactly what each change in settings achieves. The mouse has standard left and right buttons, a tiltable and clickable scroll wheel, buttons for moving forward and backwards which can be used when viewing a website to move between pages, and a button to control precision which changes the speed of the cursor movement.
While this best-selling ergonomic mouse does have a learning curve to master, users are rewarded with a quality device that should give years of usage, that is fully customisable and offers a range of connectivity options. Customers are impressed with the comfort of use; however, some have commented on the accuracy of the device in relation to cursor movement and a few have mentioned that the latest model does not seem to be as durable as previous versions with some button failures reported.
Contour Unimouse – Award Winner Ergonomic mouse with Thumb support /Wired mouse / Vertical Mouse for Left-Handed / 35 to 70 degrees angle / 6 buttons + scroll / for Windows and Mac: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
- Pain relief: Contour Unimouse is an award-winning adjustable computer mouse. It isn’t designed for static posture, its designed to allow you to switch postures during the day, a great way to further minimise pain caused by repetitive strain injuries. Variation is key with Unimouse.
- Convenient: The Unimouse is a fully adjustable vertical mouse featuring an articulated hinge to adjust the angle of the mouse grip to anywhere from 35 to 70 degrees. Its friction base locking system will prevent angle changes while in use. Altering the vertical angle allows for pressure to be taken away from the wrist.
- Ergonomic: The Unimouse is an ergonomic mouse with a thumb support that can be adjusted in all directions: in/out, up/down, forward/backwards, inclination and rotation. This alleviates gripping pain and pressure on the base of the thumb, thus reducing repetitive strain injuries and allowing you to maintain a relaxed grip on the mouse – whatever the size and shape of your hand.
- Adaptable: Six programmable buttons and a comfortable scroll wheel means your creativity can have completely free rein with Unimouse. For example, you can set the middle-click button to right-click if it feels better to work with the mouse like that, and most of the buttons can be set to most of the functions to meet your unique needs.
- Wired mouse: the Unimouse wired mouse uses a USB Plug-n-Play connector compatible with most PC, laptop, macbook and macbook air. Works with Apple Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows 10 / 7 /Vista /XP /ME /98.
Contour Unimouse is an award-winning adjustable computer mouse designed to provide pain relief. It is not intended for a static posture, instead being designed to allow you to switch postures during the day which is a great way to further minimise pain caused by repetitive strain injuries.
Variation is key with the Unimouse. The Unimouse is a fully adjustable vertical mouse featuring an articulated hinge to adjust the angle of the mouse grip to anywhere from 35 to 70 degrees. Its friction base locking system will prevent angle changes while in use. Altering the vertical angle allows for pressure to be taken away from the wrist.
The Unimouse has a thumb support that can be adjusted in all directions: in/out, up/down, forward/backwards, inclination and rotation. This alleviates gripping pain and pressure on the base of the thumb, thereby reducing repetitive strain injuries and allowing you to maintain a relaxed grip on the mouse – whatever the size and shape of your hand. Six programmable buttons and a comfortable scroll wheel means your creativity can have completely free rein, for example, you can set the middle-click button to right-click if it feels better to work with the mouse like that, and most of the buttons can be set to most of the functions to meet your unique needs.
This is a very precise device and has won various awards. It can easily be used with creativity and photo editing software without suffering from some of the accuracy issues that often affect ergonomic devices.
The mouse is USB rechargeable, and when connected to a computer using the supplied cable it can also operate in wired mode whilst charging, which takes roughly 2 hours from empty. A full software suite is included; however, this is not as intuitive of feature rich as that offered by Logitech and the software seems a bit incomplete and some users have mentioned that the build quality is questionable considering the price.
Anker AK-UBA 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
- Scientific ergonomic design encourages healthy neutral "handshake" wrist and arm positions for smoother movement and less overall strain.
- 800 / 1200 / 1600 DPI Resolution Optical Tracking Technology provides more sensitivity than standard optical mice for smooth and precise tracking on a wide range of surfaces.
- Added next/previous buttons provide convenience when webpage browsing; the superior choice for internet surfers, gamers and people who work at length at the computer.
- Enters power saving mode (power is cut off completely) after 8 minutes idle, press right or left button for it to wake. Product dimensions: 120*62.8*74.8 mm; product weight: 3.4 oz.
- Package includes: 1 Anker Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse (2 AAA batteries not included), 1 2.4G USB receiver (in the bottom of the mouse), 1 instruction manual. 18-month hassle-free warranty.
A budget choice, the Anker is a wireless 2.4G device which is supplied with a small dongle for connecting to a USB port on the computer and cha be used with both Windows and Apple devices. For portability, the dongle can be housed next to the battery compartment to prevent it getting lost. The mouse is powered using standard AAA sized batteries, and a set is included in the box.
Resolutions of 800, 1200 and 1600 DPI can be selected using the dedicated accuracy control which provides more sensitivity than standard optical mice for smooth and precise tracking on a wide range of surfaces. The inclusion of next/previous buttons provides convenience when webpage browsing. This mouse enters power saving mode (power is cut off completely) after 8 minutes of being idle and you can press either the right or left button to wake it up, which ensures that the batteries last a long time – up to 6 months of average use.
In use, this mouse takes a bit of getting used to as the vertical design totally changes the position of the wrist in relation to the desk, especially the wrist rotation which is angled at around 45 degrees. Users are impressed with the ergonomics of the device with a caveat that some have mentioned that the placement of the thumb can cause discomfort after extended use with there being a bit of a trade off because wrist pain is reduced. Unfortunately, this mouse does not have any dedicated customisation software, however most changes can be achieved from within the operating system general mouse settings.
One thing to note is that this is an Anker branded device, however this exact model is also available with different branding from many other suppliers, so it looks like it is a generic device, and may be available at a lower cost, although Anker is renowned for good customer service if anything goes wrong.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse
- Enhanced ergonomic design encourages natural hand and wrist postures
- Mouse angle and height are designed to place wrist in a comfortable position and reduce pressure on carpal tunnel area
- The thumb scoop helps to maintain the correct ergonomic hand and wrist position
- Customisable Windows button for easy access to the start menu, Cortana (where available), OneNote or Task View; back button for faster navigation
- Scroll left, right, front and back; quickly navigate all of your projects with speed and efficiency
This compact mouse from Microsoft is a well-made quality device at a reasonable price. While it does not have the ergonomic features found in some of the more expensive or unusual designs, it offers a good improvement in wrist position and ergonomics when compared to a standard device. The sculpt features Microsoft’s Blue Track technology, meaning that it can track on even the most reflective of surfaces, including glass, and in use its positional accuracy is impressive. Shorter than many comparable mouses and shaped like a ball it allows more of your wrist to rest on the mouse surface.
This unit is powered using standard AA batteries and is not rechargeable, however batteries are reported to last up to 12 months. Another thing to be aware of is that this is a right-handed use only mouse due to its button orientation and design. The mouse has six buttons and a four-way scroll wheel, with button customisation possible via Microsoft’s mouse software. It is also compatible with Mac devices. A dongle is supplied to enable the computer to access the mouse wirelessly and this can be stowed in the bottom of the mouse in the battery compartment when not in use to help prevent it from being lost, however the dongle is larger than that supplied with most mice and extends from the USB port which may be an issue if used with a laptop in a confined space. The battery cover attaches to the base magnetically which is a bonus as battery compartment doors on standard mice often fail due to worn or damaged lugs making them useless.
This model has an excellent wireless range and even on surfaces where other mice may have poor cursor response the Sculpt performs well with no degradation in responsiveness or accuracy. The scroll wheel is also noted as being very consistent and precise. The mouse can be switched off with a slide switch on the underside, however during period of inactivity it conserves energy and battery life does not suffer if left on.
Customers are impressed with the overall quality of the mouse and its durability and battery life. Due to the design of the device, it may be necessary to place it further up a desk than usual so that the wrist and arm can be in a more natural and straight position so space considerations may be required for optimal effect. When correctly used this type of device can reduce the risk of tendonitis and other complaints. Microsoft seem to have come up with a winner here, which is no surprise given their extensive research and development budget, and while this model may not look as elaborate as some of its competition it excels at all the basics and provides a consistent customer experience.
If you enjoyed this article on using an Ergonomic Mouse you might also like to read about Height Adjustable Monitor