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Upgrading to an ergonomic mouse

Upgrading to an ergonomic mouse

Sanwa Supply Mouse stick

Spending long hours at a computer can put strain on your upper body, especially the hand you use a mouse with. This is due to the repetitive motions you make using your wrist, and can cause pain, numbness, and reduced dexterity. If you are already at that stage, go see a doctor. For everyone else wanting to take precautions to avoid reaching such a situation, upgrading to a more ergonomic mouse may be a good way to start.

Unlike regular flat mice, some ergonomic mice will put your hand in a more natural, “handshake” position, instead of palm facing down. In addition, the bottom part of your palm won't be resting on the table, easing the pressure on your wrist.

Ergonomic mice are made in smaller quantities, and tend to have more complex designs compared to the S$10 pointing device issued with your company laptop. That said, they are getting more common with major brands offering ergonomic options in their regular lineup. Here are a few designs with examples you can consider that won't cost an arm and leg.

Logitech Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
Credit: Logitech

Vertical mouse

As its name suggests, a vertical mouse puts your hand in a vertical position for greater comfort. Aside from being a more natural position, the muscles you use to move the mouse also change. With a regular office mouse, wrist action is used to move the cursor. With a vertical mouse, the entire arm works to move the mouse around, which requires some getting used to. A few days of getting accustomed is well worth it, as this change will reduce reliance and stress on the wrist.

From mainstream brand Logitech, the S$119 Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse sits in this category. There are also more affordable options, like the Ugreen MU008 and Anker A7852 wireless vertical ergonomic mice.

Logitech Ergo M575
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Trackball

Trackballs are pointing devices that feature a ball you roll around to move the cursor. This means the work is done by your thumb, instead of repeated wrist action. If you've never used one before, switching to a trackball will feel strange, and will require a few days to get the hang of. 

One significant advantage of the trackball is that it stays stationary on your desk. This means you can use it even with limited space, and can choose to place it anywhere you want. For example, if you find it more comfortable to place it between you and your keyboard, you could, even with a table with limited depth.

Input peripheral giant Logitech makes a trackball, the M575, which retails for S$89. Elecom, a Japanese brand that makes a wide range of computer accessories, also makes trackballs like the EX-G Trackball Mouse. This Elecom trackball even comes in a left-handed version.

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Credit: Sanwa Supply

Mouse Stick

Technically, this design would fall under vertical mouse, but it looks and feels quite different. Imagine a joystick that's fixed in position, with a base that moves on your mousepad. The side of your palm rests entirely on this base, and you can choose to left-click with your thumb, if overuse of your index finger has become an issue.

The mouse stick design is less popular, with fewer products to choose from. Sanwa Supply, a brand from Japan, makes one called the Sanwa Supply MA-ERGBT20

Whichever design you choose, go in with the determination to stick with it for at least a week or two. This is even if you have to sacrifice productivity slightly during this adjustment period. The end result could make a huge difference in your health and quality of life.

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