You Might Be Using Your Mouse Incorrectly

You Might Be Using Your Mouse Incorrectly

Using a mouse for work all day doesn’t have to be a recipe for carpal tunnel syndrome. If pain comes with the territory, you’re probably using your mouse incorrectly.

A slight twist of your wrist can cause a serious problem, but Vivienne Fliescher (writing for Performance Based Ergonomics) suggests a fix:

Get off your wrist rest, lie your mouse on something flat like a mouse pad and move your whole hand and arm together, relax the grip on your mouse and voila, you’ll be on your way to being pain free and avoid future troubles.

Vivienne says it will feel a little awkward at first, but after a few days you’ll adjust and have a pain-free way of using your mouse. For more information, check our her full post and our guide to ergonomically optimising your workspace.

Here’s an Ergo Secret That Will Help Your Wrists Rest Easy [PBE via 99u]


  • Yeah.. Really bad choice of picture. I think they mean to not keep your arm immobile and just move your wrist, but to move your whole forearm rather than just twisting at the wrist. The wrong picture is stupid.

  • Or, better yet, screw the mouse and (1) learn keyboard shortcuts, (2) switch to programs that don’t require as much mouse movement to get your work done. Mice were for graphics folks and people who couldn’t remember keyboard commands. Probably many LH readers are not in either category. I’ll never forget, when working as an XML markup technician, switching from an actual XML editor, to ** MICROSOFT WORD ** (which indirectly created XML files with proper markup based on lots of style applications in MS word and a post-processor utility). I’d spent 2 years in the XML editor just fine, doing 70-80 hour weeks at this job, but within 6 weeks having to use Microsoft word for those long hours, my wrists and fingers were toast. The company in question (Microsoft) didn’t care, because caring would have involved admitting a WHS risk being inherent in their product when used for long periods. Granted, most people don’t work 76 hour weeks as their norm, but for those of us who did, Word was a killer. I wasn’t the only person in the death march to find that they simply couldn’t do the hours they used to be able to do, with Word as the team’s primary tool.

  • Even the “right” picture is wrong too really…

    Get yourself one of these ergonomic “vertical” mouses and you’ll never look back.

    And you have the added bonus of “no one will use your computer because no one can figure out to use your mouse…” sounds strange but trust me it works, and the BEST part for me is no more aching wrist at the end of the work day.

    Basically this mouse moves your hand to a position where all the strain on the flat-mouse is gone.

  • I use a combination of the two actually. My mouse is a logitech G700, so it’s tilted to accommodate the palm but isn’t quite long enough for my whole hand unless my fingers curl a bit. Definitely beats the generic mice in the picture though, even if I don’t do any gaming anymore.

  • Try using it backwards with the buttons down the bottom. Moving left to go right, up to go down. Been using it like this for going on 25 years since my family got our first computer. I even use the buttons backwards.

  • To those who say that noone would hold the mouse like the wrong picture, you are completely wrong. The style in the wrong pic is actually of claw grip or fingertip grip.

    There are 3 common ways of holding/using a mouse: claw grip, palm grip and fingertip grip. Descriptions of all 3 can be found here

    One holding a mouse differently than others doesn’t mean he’s doing it the wrong way. Different style for different ppl. FYI, the claw grip is used by a handful of pro gamers.

    • That’s not really a claw grip; if it were the little finger and thumb would hold the mouse in place, index would be on left button, middle on scroll wheel and left on right button. I do wonder if the wrist angle would cause more pressure on the carpal tunnel though (not that any problems would arise from that unless one had narrowing of said tunnel already).

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