Helpful tips about computer mouse ergonomics

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Q & A

Q: Vertical mice - do they cause problems of their own?

A: Personally I have not come across any situations where I would say they have caused problem. However a colleague contacted me after the webinar and commented that they have found with, vertical mice, that sometimes when clicking with the first finger, there is compensation with the thumb for the lateral pressure on the mouse, so that there is almost a pinching movement when clicking. They also mentioned that the height of the vertical mice can be a problem as they can be knocked when moving the hand from the keyboard to use them. I have not experienced this but it is always good to share experiences, as sharing knowledge allows us all a better understanding.

Q: If the clicking action is the main problem, are there effective alternatives?

A: Clicking can be an issue but it is not the only issue, and it is not a problem for the majority of users. There are software products that allow you to hover over items to click. In the range of devices the different input devices also require different forces of click and in different directions and using different fingers or parts of the hand. There are also products such as 'foot mice', so the click can be done with the foot and progression with eye and head control.

Q: Can you please advise on frequency of breaks and their length?

A: Generally small frequent breaks. If you are using your mouse pretty constantly I would advise a microbreak of maybe about 10 secs every 10-15 mins, and more frequently if you are experiencing discomfort. Just moving out of the working position and freely moving is often enough. Use any opportunity to release the tension and actively move your hands and arms.

Date & time

Friday 24 January 2020, 12.30pm


Katharine Metters, MCSP MSc.Erg CMIOSH PGCE, Head Consultant, Posturite


Poor mouse positioning can lead to discomfort and pain over time, which is why it’s so important to choose your product carefully and set up your workstation suitably. In this webinar, chartered physiotherapist and ergonomist Katharine Metters will explore the fascinating and useful subject of mouse ergonomics, covering:

  • Basic hand and upper limb anatomy
  • How to set up and position your mouse in a DSE set-up
  • Different types of computer mice available, the principles behind their designs, pros, cons and examples of where they can be useful
  • Other products associated with mouse use

About the speaker

Katharine Metters

Katharine is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Chartered Member of the Institute of Safety and Health and holds a Masters degree in Ergonomics. This unique combination of qualifications, together with her vast range of experience working within healthcare, food, retail and utility sectors, enables Katharine to offer a very broad-based range of training, education and health & safety management in the workplace.