Considerations for Vertical Computer Mice
Posted on July 12, 2022 | in Ergonomics
VelocityEHS’ Mike Hoonhorst examines different types of vertical computer mice and explains what to look for when purchasing one for the office environment.
Hi there. It’s Michael Hoonhorst, certified ergonomist here from Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics) for another product review series. This time we’re here to talk about angled mice, and so the first thing we need to understand about mice in the workplace are: what risk factors are we really trying to reduce? So, in the office we know that force is a risk factor that we don’t see very much because to depress the button on a mouse or to depress the button on a keyboard, it doesn’t take very much force. And so, what we’re really interested is in the hand and wrist postures, in this case. And so, what we’re trying to avoid is a rotation of the forearm that we call pronation, and so you can see here there are a variety of mice that will help us do that. Anything from angles about 20 degrees all the way up to 90 degrees. I want to take a moment to describe that.
So, this Goldtouch comfort mouse here is about 24 degrees of angle, and what you’ll see it’s pretty close to traditional mouse, but it angles my wrist slightly upwards and away from that completely pronated posture. In this mouse here, is a 66-degree mouse and this is a Goldtouch semi-vertical mouse, and so we get even further away from that fully pronated posture. And again, obviously if you have a 90-degree mouse you’re almost in a completely neutral hand and wrist posture.
I want to talk about a couple other features, obviously these mice come either wired, as in this example or maybe wireless, and so may come with a dongle or with Bluetooth connectivity. And some of the advantages of that are you don’t have to worry about how far away the mouse is from the computer with a Bluetooth mouse versus a wired mouse, and so you can place it almost anywhere on the work surface.
One really neat feature about this one: it has a removable flange that you can take off, and again, with this flange on here you’re going to reduce contact with the desk surface. It also has counterweights built into the bottom of it, and so you can add or remove those and play around with that until you achieve your comfort level of how much resistance the mouse has.
Some things to consider are these mice can’t be used with both hands. Obviously, you have to purchase it in a right-handed version or a left-handed version, and you should also look at the sizing guides for vertical mice and make sure it fits the size of your hand. So, if you have more of a 5th percentile or smaller hand, you’re going to want to purchase a smaller mouse, versus a 95th percentile hand length you’re going to want to purchase one of the larger mice, when it comes to vertical mice.
So, in conclusion, the more angle you have on the computer mice, the more you’re going to reduce the extended wrist posture and the rotated forearm posture we call pronation. But at the end of the day, you have to find a computer mouse that you’re comfortable using.
Again, I’m Mike Hoonhorst from Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics) and thanks for watching our product review series.