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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Mouse Design and Positioning: Avoid Repetitive Stress

Mouse Design and Positioning: Avoid Repetitive Stress

Posted by Weber Knapp on Jun 15, 2022 12:57:13 PM

office ergonomics - mouse

Staff efficiency is improved when priority is given to ergonomics. For example, investing in an ergonomic keyboard means a typist can improve speed, cut back on mistakes and spend more time typing and less on breaks. 

A worker who has to spend hours staring at the screen will experience less eye strain and fewer headaches if the money is spent to buy a computer monitor designed to help address these issues. Office ergonomics are a worthy focus for management, both to improve employee productivity and to reduce the financial burden of repetitive stress injuries. 

Repetitive stress injuries are defined as “a gradual buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motions.” Repetitive stress injuries can be caused by a number of actions, including swiping items at a grocery store checkout, sports training, working on an assembly line, and the use of a mouse. 

As a result, mouse design is another area where money spent now can cut down on costs related to repetitive stress injuries for employees and also provide significant ROI. However, when it comes to investing in the right mouse, the numerous options can make the ideal result a subjective one, based on the user’s needs. 

Mouse Design Options

The mouse is a key component of office productivity, and with a variety of designs and options, it can be hard to determine which is the best mouse to purchase for your staff. 

There are more traditional designs, which provide staff with a smooth movement as they work, accuracy, and a physical size that easily fits most hands. 

In contrast, an ergonomic design can reduce strain on the employee’s hand, as well as provide a better grip (when you’re discussing a vertical mouse). This, combined with regular breaks and hand stretches can make a difference in pain level and also the potential for injury. 

For a trackball mouse, the user does not have to move the mouse. Instead, there is a learning curve as the user determines the best way to move using the trackball on the mouse. 

It is worth noting that ergonomic designs are more focused on delivering a specific level of control. This means that a left-handed user may not feel a mouse is optimized for them, and unfortunately, that can make a difference. Often, a left-handed version is not designed either. It is worthwhile to note who may be left-handed and may need a mouse that fits their needs. 

Mouse Positioning: An Adjustable Tray Will Optimize Use

There are a variety of options when it comes to mouse positioning. This both helps to keep the mouse within easy reach and also frees up some desk space - which can be at a premium in some office environments. 

For example, a keyboard tray with an adjustable mouse arm allows for better comfort and keeps the mouse close to the keyboard for optimal accessibility.office ergonomics - mouse

IIt also allows the limited space to become more versatile, allowing for other tasks to be completed as additional items can be added to the desktop when the keyboard and mouse can be tucked away. 

Some keyboard trays come with a foam palm rest to provide maximum comfort. This palm rest can be removed if necessary. 

Other options offer a mouse surface as part of the fixed design. However, an additional mouse platform can be added to certain keyboard tray styles, providing more flexibility for ergonomic comfort. 

This also allows flexibility to accommodate both right and left-handed users. The mouse mounts can be mounted on either left or right, depending on the user.

Some mouse surfaces can be tilted or swiveled as necessary to find the right position, and some tilt and swivel mouse surfaces are available with a gel pad to allow better adherence while adjusting for optimal use.

For those who simply want an extension of the keyboard tray without needing to adjust and swivel their mouse platform, a sliding mouse tray can be an appealing option. This tray provides a secure location for the mouse that can be tucked away into the keyboard tray when not in use. It also reduces the time needed to adjust when adding the mouse platform. 

If you tend to let go of the mouse mid-movement, a mouse catcher is a smart investment. This saves your mouse from leaving the mouse platform and sailing across the office. 

Consult the Professionals | Weber Knapp Engineers can Help

Ergonomics integration can be a challenge to tackle. The experts can help you find the right support, once you have the right mouse, to help with the task. Weber Knapp has an ergonomics catalog full of support options, although you will have to find the mouse elsewhere. You can also download the checklist below to help with integration. 

Regardless of the method of keyboard and mouse support your staff members prefer, Weber Knapp experts are ready to help get them to you and improve your office ergonomic experience. 

Get The Free Ergonomic Equipment Integration Checklist Here


Topics: Ergonomics, Design, Engineering, Safety, office equipment