Pain using a mouse?
Are you experiencing arm pain using a mouse?
Review the following tips to see if you can resolve any arm pain using a mouse.
- Ensure the surface on which the mouse is used is suitable for it to respond easily. Use a mouse mat.
- Ensure the mouse is positioned at the same height as your forearm. If you have raised your chair, to suit your keyboard height, (see How to adjust 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.
- Keep the mouse close to you, so that your elbow remains under your shoulder during use. (Sometimes a mini keyboard size allows the mouse to be even closer).
- Make sure you have an up-to-date, fully functioning mouse. 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. It can suit left or right handed user, with a central scroll wheel and left & right click buttons on each side of the scroll button. Left handed users can swap over the button use on the computer Control Panel.
- If mouse use is uncomfortable, first consider if your sitting and arm posture are correct before buying extra equipment. (Eg mouse rests, alternative mice etc.). Review when the pain occurs, during what actions.
- 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 whole arm, particularly the underside of the wrist should be free to move and unrestricted during use.
- Try to not grip the mouse too tightly or for too long. Consider using Microsoft keyboard shortcuts or Apple Mac keyboard shortcuts to ease the reduce mouse use.
- Increase the number of lines per scroll. Increase the speed of the mouse motion so less arm movement across the desk is required to get across the screen (x2 mouse settings are on the Control Panel).
- Set up single click rather than double clicking for each icon (see the yellow ‘Folder Options’ on the Control Panel or access via ‘View’ under ‘Options’ on a Microsoft Office yellow folder).
- When using wireless mice, the weight of two AA batteries within the mouse can considerably affect the weight of the mouse being moved. Go back to a wired mouse if this is an issue.
- 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. There are other technology alternatives. Consider obtaining technical equipment advice (eg voice activated software).
We hope this information is useful and practical advice to ease arm pain using a mouse.
If you cannot resolve discomfort or pain, you may need an assessment. This can prevent issues in the future or resolve issues you are currently experiencing.
See our Services related to this topic:
If discomfort is ongoing, requiring medical input, or there is a diagnosed medical condition, a more in-depth Ergonomic Workstation Assessment is required.
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See our blog articles related to this topic:
- Pain using a keyboard – 9 Top Tips
- What is a DSE Risk Assessment?
- What is a Workstation Assessment?
- Occupational Health Assessments at work
- Mobile & Homeworking DSE Assessment
- Pain using an office chair
- Coronavirus & Working from home
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See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.
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