When you hear the word 'computer mouse' you probably think of a standard mouse. This is a mouse that you use with your right or left hand, and it is found in almost every office. An ergonomic alternative is the central mouse. You encounter them more often than you might think. But how does it work and what benefits does it offer?
As the name suggests, the central mouse takes a central place on the desk. It is often placed in the middle of the keyboard, within shoulder width. The most familiar types are touchpads and roller bars.
You are probably familiar with a touchpad in the form of a small rectangular surface at the bottom of the keyboard on your laptop. You position the cursor by moving your finger across the touchpad surface. You perform clicking actions by tapping on the surface. Often, there are 1 or 2 buttons on the touchpad which take over the function of the left and right mouse buttons. Also available, are detachable touchpads and touchpads that function with a pen.
You encounter a roller bar less often. A roller bar looks like a bar with buttons which you place directly in front of the keyboard. You position the cursor by turning the bar and moving it left or right. Clicking is done by pressing the buttons in front of the bar.
Pros and Cons
The central mouse has two major advantages: the possibility of alternating between your left and right hand and the reduced muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.
However, there are also disadvantages. With a central mouse, you make more precise movements with your fingers and wrist, you have to twist your forearm, and the reach distance to the keyboard is increased. These factors can lead to more muscular tension and ultimately, RSI problems. In addition, these mice are about 25% slower than a standard mouse and you need time to get used to it.
In terms of ergonomics, the central mouse has rather a lot of disadvantages. Fortunately, this is not the only alternative to a standard mouse. There are also trackball mice, which you use with a large ball, or vertical mice that help you to use your large muscles. Although the vertical mouse appears to be the best choice in many ergonomic comparison studies, the preference for the perfect mouse is often a personal one.
Would you like to check out which type of mouse is most suitable for your customer or situation? Then look no further, our white paper can help you. In this white paper we have summarised research studies and conclusions about different types of ergonomic mice.