Every day various individuals are working either at the office or from the comfort of their homes. In both of these cases, increased productivity is of the essence if results are set to be realized at the end of the day. When this is achieved, there is a sense of satisfaction that is irresistible both to the employee and employer, or individual for those working from home. One of the ways to do this is to use a vertical mouse. I know it sounds stupid but just hear me out.
For a long time, many have been forced to imagine that the way to achieve this is by working very hard and putting in long working hours. This is actually not true at all. Contrary to this, you will find those who opt to go down this road complaining of body pain and aches as a result of sitting for long hours without exercise.
Other than that, working on your computer with a normal mouse can harm your wrist over time as it tends to twist on the inside, due to change in positioning at various occasions. Go ahead and read my review on one of my favorite ergonomic mouse. This will lower your productivity and makes it difficult and painful to some extent to get to use your ordinary mouse, as part of the tools of your daily work.
For this particular reason, a vertical mouse will come in handy to help you work comfortably and better. Lets’ consider this closely first by checking the natural resting position of the wrist. In this case, you will find that when your hands are hanging down on each side, the thumbs will be pointing down and forward.
So what is a vertical mouse? Simply put it is a mouse that allows your hand to sit in the most anatomically correct position. Instead of turning your wrist so your palm faces down, you just hold your hand out and grip the mouse. It really is that simple. We will talk more on that later.
Going on forward; when your hands assume a 90 degree position when you bend at the elbow naturally, the wrist will be in a neutral position in this state, whereby the thumbs point forward and upwards. In this particular case, your wrist will be rested better, which means that the likelihood of straining will be quite low.
The same applies to the mouse you opt to use when working on your computer. When using an ordinary mouse that tends to lie flat on the surface of your work station, for you to grip it, some movement of the wrist or what is otherwise referred to as pronation is experienced on the inside.
When this happens, the joint space between the two bones which constitute the forearm is reduced. These bones are referred to as the ulna and radius. This is what brings about discomfort on the wrist inhibiting overall output. For this reason, using a vertical mouse will be advisable for enhanced performance to be achieved.
Improper techniques of using the mouse can easily cause an inflammation of the flexor carpi ulnaris, which is a tendon on the anterior of the forearm. This condition is known as tendinitis. You do not want to imagine suffering from this and a vertical mouse will be most appropriate to counter this. Tendinitis is the most common injury experienced by most individuals who use an ordinary mouse.
This condition occurs when there is extreme ulnar deviation on a continuous basis as far as the wrist is concerned. This implies that there is a tendency of moving one’s wrist in a horizontal plane to extreme measures constantly. The period it will take to suffer tendinitis may be short since you are constantly working on your computer on almost a daily basis.
Worse still, you may be having the same kind of mouse back at home and if you have the habit of carrying some of that office work back to the house to achieve more, you could be harming yourself more than what you are gaining at the end of the day. Your job is important but your health comes first because if you are not in good shape, it will also be impossible to work.
The measurement of the movement of the wrist in the horizontal plane is called ulnar deviation and a study has revealed that the typical deviation of the ulnar bone in the arm when one is not using the mouse is at an average of 2 degrees. This tends to increase when one is using a mouse on their computer and it can get to a high of 30 degrees.
Simply put; if you form a habit of using your mouse excessively for a long period of time, you will be stretching the limits of your wrist to dangerous levels and this is what leads to tendinitis eventually. That being the case, it is very important to mouse with the whole of your arm because this helps prevent straining your wrist.
Using a vertical mouse can help prevent tendinitis since it turns ulnar deviation into wrist extension. What this does is that it gives the wrist a greater range of motion in extension and flexion. One thing is clear here; that even with a vertical mouse, you will still rest your arm on your mouse pad or desk every other time as you work.
Therefore, a vertical mouse may give you greater extension and flexion for your wrist but it does not protect you entirely from constant stress injury. The emphasis on using the whole of your arm when using a mouse is due to the fact that the range of motion will be minimized and as a result, this protects you from injury.
Technically speaking, your arm has 7 degrees of freedom between the shoulder, joint and elbow whereas your wrist has 3 of these namely, roll, pitch and yaw. Using the whole arm to mouse means that you’ll be in a better position to put all the 7 degrees of freedom to work since the ulna, humerus and radius are longer than your hand.
Hence, a lesser range of motion will be required in this case and this is how it is supposed to be. I know, this might be an in depth kind of explanation but it is quite simple when you put all this information together, as you draw a conclusion. You will realize that a vertical mouse will;
- Help your wrist to rest on the ‘bony’ baby finger side, eliminating pressure on the soft tissue of the wrist.
- Engage the larger muscles of the arm rather than leaving all the work to the wrist, which means that the wrist remains in a comfortable and neutral position.
- Cause the forearm to assume an anatomical position of rest that will prevent straining of the muscles.
However, the bottom line is that as much as a vertical mouse may work out just right initially, proper use of your mouse is a priority. When you get yourself a vertical mouse and employ the right technique in using it, you will be free from the risk of tendinitis thus, greater productivity.