On a mouse hunt: Standard vs. vertical mouse

A healthy workplace means healthy workers. A growing number of large companies are seeing the importance of this. A low risk of RSI complaints also means less absenteeism. As a consultant, it is important that you have sufficient knowledge to be able to advise your clients. In this blog we look deeper into the differences between a standard mouse and an ergonomic vertical mouse.

Standard mice

The standard mouse: the mouse is the most used plug-in tool when working at a computer. However, when using a standard mouse, the hand and wrist are in an unnatural position. Unconsciously, the wrist makes small, stressful movements and this can quickly lead to strain. But which movements cause this strain?

Causes of RSI

During scientific research, the following 3 factors were mentioned as the major cause of RSI complaints:

  1. Pronation: twisting of the forearm. When using a standard mouse, the forearm needs to rotate so that the palm of the hand is placed downwards, onto the mouse. The hand is held in an unnatural posture, and this causes continuous overuse of the forearm muscles. 
  2. Ulnar and radial deviation: rotational movements of the wrist: When using a standard mouse, it is primarily the hand that moves. Repetitive movements cause the tendons in the wrist to become strained.
  3. Dorsal flexion: Tilting movement of the hand. When placing the hand on a standard, round mouse, it needs to be tilted slightly from the wrist, causing the wrist to be at an angle to the forearm. This causes continuous overuse of the tendons that run through the wrist.

It is very difficult to change habits you have previously learned. That is why it is advisable to switch to an ergonomic mouse that is specifically tailored to suit you, so that you can use your mouse in a natural, healthy way. Even if you do not (yet) have RSI complaints.

Vertical mice

An alternative for a standard mouse is a vertical mouse. With a vertical mouse, you do not have to twist your forearm to put your hand on the mouse. This prevents strain due to pronation and dorsiflexion of the wrist. The hand is positioned vertically, and it is no longer possible to move the mouse using the wrist; there is no question of ulnar- and radial deviation. You automatically move your entire arm to move the mouse.

Virtually every vertical mouse uses the large arm muscles instead of small muscles and tendons. Yet there are still many differences between vertical mice. There is no single mouse which you can call the best; the choice of ergonomic mouse is a personal one and depends, among other things, on the size of your hand and the way the mouse is used. There are vertical mice in all shapes and sizes, so there is always a suitable one available.

Do you want to know more?

In addition to standard and vertical mice, there are other ergonomic alternatives, such as central mice and trackball mice. You can read more about these options, and the science behind them, in our white paper. This information will provide you with well-founded advice!

Tags: whitepaper, ergonomic mice