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Make Friends with your Mouse

A computer MouseHaving problems with your mouse? Here are some ideas that will help you make the most effective and efficient use of it.

Keep the mouse close to you

People often have their mouse buried under piles of paper or placed on some available space on their desk that is hard to access. By placing the mouse close to your body there is much less strain on the arm and shoulder. Your arm should be by your side with your elbow at about 90 degrees with the wrist straight and parallel to the desk.

Change your work layout

If you use the keyboard and mouse together and use the mouse with your right hand, the position of the number pad may cause you to hold your arm away from your body, so that your whole arm is often straight. This can cause a strain in the arm and hand. There are a number of ways to address this. One is to try using the mouse in your left hand. Another is to try a keyboard without a number pad, which means you can use the mouse in your right hand but with the right arm closer to the body.

Switch the mouse between right and left hands

If you are an intensive user of the mouse this spreads the load and gives each arm a break.

Try out a different mouse

A large number are available, including specific ones for right- or left-handers, and different sizes to match different hand sizes. As well as the traditional mouse, you will find tracker balls, pen devices, graphics tablets and touch pads. Different types suit different people, different hand sizes and different tasks. Try out different ones and find the one that suits you.

Use a suitable mouse mat

Ensure that the mouse mat has a surface covering that allows free and easy movement. There are also a number of mouse rests on the market, but these are not essential and can often cause problems (there is a temptation to lean too hard on the rest and pivot the hand from the wrist). If you use a rest, it should gently support the wrist and you should use the whole arm to guide the mouse.

Learn and use keyboard shortcuts

If you find the use of the mouse a problem, virtually all programs and operating systems provide some keyboard shortcuts that will reduce the need for mousing.

Adjust the mouse buttons via the software
Use your mouse control panel to change the tracking speed, adjust the time interval for double clicking, use a click function to lock the drag control and swap over the buttons for right and left hands.

Clean it!

The mouse ball collects dust and its rollability can be improved with regular cleaning. Just turn the mouse upside down and release the ball from its slot to remove the dust.

Take lots of breaks

Stretch the arms, shoulders, upper back and neck regularly.

For more information on how we can help your business use office equipment safely and effectively please contact us.

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System Concepts Ltd is a company registered in England, number 205 5814. Our registered office is 2 Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R 0EZ.