Good Ergonomics are Ideal for Pain Prevention
You know what they say about ergonomics: "It's not about working smarter; it's about working lazier." As someone who suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for a while, I can tell you that ergonomics isn't about working lazier; it's about desperately reaching for anything that can help you accomplish your everyday duties when you are partially disabled.
After having these issues I tried a lot of different things to help with the problem. A wrist-guard and desk pad from Dr. Scholl's helped a little bit with the pain, but ultimately, prevention would have been the best option. A Mouse with more ergonomic features not only helps with that, but also minimizes any pain for someone like me who already a few issues.
6 Good Ergonomic Mouse Options for Everyday Use
Evoluent VM4 Vertical Mouse
Whether you're trying to prevent further nerve damage or simply want something to prevent it all together, Evoluent's VM4 is is a unique option that for me, has had great results.
While wrist pain is rarely eliminated entirely, the Evoluent VM4 Vertical Mouse has limited much of the pain that I used to feel on a daily basis. This is because the vertical design limits the strain on your wrist.
It also utilizes a tracking ball controlled by the thumb while the left- and right-click buttons are positioned on the opposite side for use by the fingers.
The vertical layout helps to avoid forearm twisting, which helps to avoid putting pressure on the carpal nerve.
Overall $80 is a good value for something that can make a real difference in your long-term health. If you already have nerve damage, I wouldn't hesitate to spend the extra money vs. a less expensive option.
Best Trackball Ergonomic Mouse
Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball
A good wireless option to consider is the Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball. As one of if not the most popular ergonomic mouse, it certainly has a track record for eliminating and preventing wrist pain.
It's not upright like the Evoluent; however, the design itself is ergonomic while having a trackball to eliminate the motion your wrist makes when moving the mouse.
Like the 3M, the you could expect to pay $45 to $50, depending on who you end up buying it from. So if you like the Evoluent setup but want to save $40-$45, the Logitech would be the best bang for your buck.
4 Good Budget Ergonomic Mouse Options
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse
If you're looking for more of a budget option, take a look at Microsoft's Sculpt mouse. The design uses a mouse angle and height that place your wrist in a more comfortable and natural position.
Along with the profile of the mouse, the thumb scoop continues to encourage your hand and wrist to use good posture.
Features for the sculpt include MicrosoftTrack which makes it so you can use the Sculpt on basically any type of surface other than mirrored or glass surfaces. A Windows button also means that you can get to your start menu without having to make extra moves. Less movement is less work and stress on your hands.
Unfortunately, the Sculpt is only available for right-handed users. So, if you're left-handed, you'll have to go with another option. Still, the Sculpt is certainly a good budget option for those who need to keep their wrist and hand in the correct position.
The Sculpt comes with 2 AA batteries that should last you up to 12 months. Wireless range is typically around 3 meters and starts to go in and out after that. A 3-year warranty is also included.
Is the Microsoft Sculpt as comfortable as a vertical mouse for someone with wrist pain already? I'd say that in general, the answer to this is no. However, this mouse is a great way to prevent future pain and doesn't cost nearly as much. So, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons out and decide what's most important to you. If you already have carpal tunnel, I'd probably spend the extra money.
Wow Pen Joy Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse
Another good ergonomic option is the Wow Pen Joy. It's not only light and easy to move, the angle is easier for people than the Evoluent while still carrying much of the same effect in wrist protection.
Wow Pen Joy Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse Black By Ergoguys
The price ranges from $22 to $28, making it the most affordable mouse out of those herein reviewed. It's an optical mouse with a USB wire, so you slide it around on a mouse pad, but its ergonomic shape is designed, according to reviewers, to avoid Repetitive Strain Syndrome and/or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
3M Ergonomic Mouse (EM500GPL)
The 3M Company has an optical ergonomic mouse, the EM500GPL. This mouse has a joystick-style grip to keep the hand in a vertical, neutral position but functions as a regular optical mouse, i.e., you plug it into a USB port and slide it around on a mouse pad.
The left- and right-click buttons are both accessed by the thumb, and scrolling is made simpler with a separate one-click button, though this scrolling is only usable in PC operating systems. It is available on for anywhere from $45 to $50 and has earned an Ease-of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.
Overall, it's one of the better options out there with middle-of-the-road pricing, but you'll need to adjust to using the button placement.
Best Wireless Ergonomic Mouse
Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
Lastly, Microsoft offers an ergonomically-designed, wireless optical mouse, the Natural 6000. The price range for this mouse is about what you'd expect from a brand name like Microsoft, $58-$67 (though at the time of writing there was a used one for sale for $24.95).
The specs provided by Microsoft e reveal a high-end product: it's wireless, it's ergonomically designed, and it has four-way scrolling, magnifying, and battery-saving features.
It has 5 customizable buttons, an Instant Viewer that shows you all open windows and selects the one you want, a battery life indicator, and no doubt many more applications.
Being made by Microsoft, it will no doubt work well with whatever version of Windows you might have on your PC, but apparently it will also function in Mac OS X v10.2-10.4X.
At 4 inches long, it's another one that won't cover your palm completely, but it's situated so that the radial side of your hand rests on the desk instead of the wrist or palm.
Which Ergonomic Mouse do you Prefer?
Overall, it's worth it to spend a little bit more to find a mouse that's comfortable and ergonomic. The long-term health risks associated with ignoring issues with your hands, wrists, and arms simply aren't worth the risk.
Have you used one of the models I mentioned in the past? Be sure to let us know your experience with it, below.
I also appreciate any suggestions for models above. A someone who uses these myself, it's always great to know if there are any new options coming to the market.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Brandon Hart
Speak Your Mind
anonymous on April 17, 2013:
I think the OrthoMouse should be listed here.
anonymous on February 24, 2013:
What about the wireless touchpads, has anyone suffering from corpal tunnel used one?
idea82000 on February 18, 2013:
good choices on the mouses and i pick the number 1 because that is how my hand is turned when im at the computer. With that mouse you might have a little lag in the old slow mac.
Tim Bader from Surrey, UK on February 06, 2013:
Good choices here!