Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pain-Free Mousing

Tips and tricks for mouse use without pain ...

"When performing ergonomic assessments, the main factors that I have found that contribute to mousing pain include:

* Mouse Positioning
* Mouse Movement
* Muscular Tension When Using the Mouse
* Forearm Positioning on the Mouse

Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of developing a repetitive strain injury or tendonitis from mouse use.

MOUSE POSITIONING

Causes of Pain

* Reaching forward for the mouse onto a desk that is higher than the keyboard.
* Reaching for a mouse placed to the far side of the keyboard.
* Planting the wrist down and swiveling the mouse using wrist motion.


Tips for Preventing Pain

* Position the mouse in a more comfortable and ergonomic location
o Use an attachable mouse holder that adjusts to fit over numerical key pad (if you do not use the 10-key) or as closely to it as possible.
o Or use a keyboard bridge over the numerical keys if you do not use the 10-key portion of the keyboard.
o Or use a keyboard station such as the Contour Roller Pro which has a rollerbar mouse that is positioned immediately below the space bar of the keyboard.

MOUSE MOVEMENT

Causes of Pain

* Excessive wrist or arm movement when activating the mouse.
* Planting the wrist down placing pressure against the carpal tunnel.
* The wrist bent backward (estended) when using the mouse.

Tips for Preventing Pain

* The mouse should be at about the same level of the keyboard and positioned as closely to the keyboard as possible.
* Avoid reaching forward, up, or out to the side when using the mouse. Position the mouse to avoid these movements (see mouse positioning tips).
* Activate the mouse by using small movements from the shoulder and elbow muscles rather than the wrist muscles.

Ergonomics

* Keep the shoulders relaxed.
* The elbow should be held loosely at the side in a direct line under the shoulder.
* The wrist should be held in a neutral position (not bent forward or back or angled to one side or the other).
* Do not plant the wrist down on that desk or on a wrist rest. Glide the wrist over surfaces always maintaining the neutral position."    (Continued via Bella Online, Marji Hajic)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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