Are you experiencing discomfort or pain using your mouse?
Review the following mouse tips to see if you can resolve any issues you are experiencing.
- Ensure the surface on which the mouse is used is suitable for it to respond easily.
- Ensure the mouse is positioned at the same height as your forearm, ie if you have raised your chair, to suit your keyboard height, (see Sitting on an Office Chair: 7 top tips) the mouse also needs to suit the same height, so your arm use for all tasks is horizontal. Therefore a mouse mat or two may be required.
- Ensure that the mouse is close to you, so that your elbow remains under your shoulder during use (sometimes a mini keyboard size is a consideration to allow the mouse to be even closer).
- Ensure you have an up-to-date, fully functioning mouse, that has optical (red light) operation, rather than a ball that gets sticky and dirty. Many people use the standard type of mouse, which is generally symmetrical in shape (so it can suit left or right handed user) and has a central scroll wheel and left and right click buttons on each side of the scroll (left handed users can swap over the button use on the control panel). If mouse use becomes uncomfortable consider initially if your sitting posture and arm posture is correct before buying equipment such as mouse rests, alternative mice etc
- A mouse rest should only be used during breaks from mousing! Be aware that the mouse rest is not restricting access to the mouse. The arm, and particularly the wrist should be free to move and be unrestricted during use.
- Try to not grip the mouse too tightly.
- Increase the number of lines per scroll and increase the speed of the mouse motion so less arm movement across the desk is required to get across the screen (mouse settings are on the control panel).
- When using wireless mice, consider that the weight of two AA batteries within the mouse can considerably affect the weight of the mouse being moved.
- Consider setting up single click rather than double clicking for each icon (see Folder Options on the control panel or on in Tools on a yellow folder).
- There are many alternative mouse/input device options – consider the pros and cons of alternatives, as sometimes they can resolve one issue but may create another. If you have difficulties and you are still getting pain using your mouse, you may require an prevention assessment for minor/occasional symptoms, see DSE Workstation Risk Assessment or if you have ongoing health needs, see Ergonomic Workstation Assessment.
- If using a mouse/alternative mouse/input device/trackball at all is problematic, there are other technology alternatives. Consider obtaining technical equipment advice (eg voice activated software) as part of an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment.Tell us your circumstances and we can advise what assessment will be needed.
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