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Alternatives to a Scroll Mouse: Reduce Chance of Repetitive Stress Injury

October 3rd, 2012 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in I've Always Wondered...

Wear and tear takes a toll on your body over time. Tension and stress in the workplace can compound this problem and RSI can become a serious problem over time. Repetitive stress injury is a real concern for anyone doing repetitive tasks on a daily basis- such as typing, data entry, and research.

Frequent usage of conventional mouse is unavoidable nowadays, no matter what your job entails- odds are it involves using a computer at some point. Most of us type and scroll a mouse quite extensively in our daily routine and the nature of this repetitive injury can cause repetitive stress injuries over time all by itself- with no other outside factors. We can’t stop working; it puts bread on our table- however it might be a good idea to look into alternatives for the conventional input devices you use every day. The time has come to look for alternatives to the modern scroll mouse.

Dorsiflexion is the main reason for your mouse hand developing RSI. So what can be done?

First of all, try using keyboard shortcuts more. Keyboard shortcuts reduce the time it takes to accomplish common tasks, which in turn makes you more productive. Also, try to keep your wrist in a neutral position when using a mouse. Alternating hands doesn’t help much in the long run; instead, both of your hands then run the risk of developing RSI.

Rather than using the old scroll mouse day in and day out, an good alternative might just be the USB heated mouse. These are relatively inexpensive nowadays, and the heating pad can offer potential relief for one’s RSI affected hands. Be careful however; as some reviews of these products have been underwhelming. The buttons sometimes do not function properly and occasionally get stuck. So it might just be one of those products that is hit or miss.

The ideal position for your hands while operating a mouse is one where you dont have to twist your wrist fllat on the desk.  The handshoe mouse does just this for you; allowing a slight angle between your hand and the desk you are working on so your wrist need not twist. Your wrist supports your hand’s weight and it is not bent into an awkward angle thus saving your wrist. The curvature helps to also relieve pressure on your hands. The first time you use this sort of mouse there is slight discomfort; however with time it gets quite a bit easier.


Fully ergonomic mice were originally designed to reduce strain on hand muscles and prevent RSI. These mice fit into your hand naturally, and you wither hold them, or cradle them, and they are known as vertical mice, cradle mice, and presenters.

Vertical Mouse

A vertical mouse or cradle mouse allows you to hold the mouse- keeping it in the handshake position.  This is a much more natural position for prolonged use of a computer mouse. Your thumb acts as a brace and you simply move the mouse by moving your arms. This in turn means much lower stress on your wrist and hands. These types of mice are more expensive than traditional mice, however they often come in wireless and Bluetooth versions, and with many extra features.  Plus think of all the future hassle and pain you are saving yourself!

These are just a few of your many options for preventing RSI. If you know about additional alternatives, or other remedies please share. Also if you have experience with any of the products mentioned above- please feel free to share that as well.

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