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Following on from the previous blog discussing ergonomics in keyboards, it’s now the turn of mice.
I’d argue that shape is the most important factor, but there has to be consideration taken in movement and pointer speed and whether wired or wireless suits the user better.
Mice supplied with PC’s are usually fit for purpose. They connect to the PC and they move the pointer, but how comfortable are they? After all, a mouse is generally more used than the keyboard.
There are many different types of mouse available, so it’s important to choose one which is offering the most comfort and one which has the correct amount of movement for your application.
The comfort factor is down to a number of things. Size is all-important – the smaller the mouse, the more your fingers have to bend in order to grip it (a claw grip), which can lead to discomfort, not only in the fingers, but in the elbow, arms and neck as a result. A hand should fit across the mouse, resting on it, which helps keep the wrist, elbow and shoulder at a comfortable angle.
Also though, take into consideration the amount of movement required to take the pointer from one side of the screen to the other, what type of movement is needed (precision or speed), size of the monitor it’s being used on, wired or wireless, to name a few. After all, a left-handed person using a right-handed shaped mouse which requires picking up every few centimeters of movement to let the pointer continue its journey across the operating system desktop is not going to help anyone.
CHERRY’s MW 4500 (JW-4500) mouse is shaped for right-handed users and at a 45 degree angle, meaning a more natural wrist/arm position. It’s also wireless, so no cable snagging and has a good 1200dpi (switchable) sensor for speedy desktop movement This will soon be released in a left-handed version with the same features. However, this product can take some getting used to for some users, as it can be seen as an odd shape.
The MW 8 ERGO (JW-8500) is again shaped for right-handed users, but is a more traditional, flat type mouse. However, it does offer a selectable resolution up to 3200dpi. For those using larger monitors, it’s useful not to have so far to move the mouse to cover the entire screen and this solves the issue perfectly. It’s also wireless and rechargeable, so no cable snagging or need to worry about batteries.
The Gentix series of mice – JM-0300 / JM-0300-2 / JM-0310-2 – are ambidextrous, with a slightly larger footprint, meaning enhanced comfort as the hand will lay across rather than crab-over the mouse surface. They’re symmetrical, so ideal for left or right handed users alike and have a good 1000dpi sensor for quick desktop movement. The JM-0310 (Gentix Silent) has one further trick up its sleeve, as the buttons have been noise dampened, giving a softer click that can be better for some users, as well as keeping the office as quiet as possible.
One further piece of ergonomics – software. CHERRY KEYS can be used to program ANY mouse button with a variety of functions. If commonly used functions (cut/copy/paste, for instance) are programmed into otherwise unused buttons, then this will assist in reducing strain further.
For those of us who are using a PC for most of the week, a little care in choosing the right products for comfort can pay dividends in the future.