We all know that the trusted regular computer mouse can be damaging for your wrist, but are innovative ergonomic solutions such as vertical mice any better and worth the price? I’ll tell you all you need to know about vertical mice and its game-changing benefits for your health.
A vertical mouse takes time to get used to in comparison to a regular mouse. However, once you do, it can save your wrist in the long run. For people who work long hours via computers or spend a lot of time gaming, a vertical mouse can prevent common injuries connected to extended use of a regular mouse – such as a carpal tunnel.
Vertical mice are especially interesting to gamers or anyone who spends a significant amount of time on the computer – be it for work or leisure purposes. What is the issue with a regular mouse, and how can you prevent common mouse-related health concerns using the vertical design? Is it practical for gaming, and should you invest in one? Read about all that and more in the following article.
What Is a Vertical Mouse?
As the name implies, a vertical mouse is a technological spin on a recognizable regular mouse designed in the 60s. It’s the new ergonomic design based on a regular mouse featuring vertical buttons. As a result, your hand forms a more natural and supportive handshake position that does not contribute to muscular strain.
Jack Lo patterned the idea in 1994. After experiencing pain caused by a regular computer mouse, he developed the vertical prototype that fully supports the hand in the relaxed state. After Microsoft’s rejection, he managed to put the product on the shelves in 2002. Following the release, the mouse changed but kept its signature design. The design can even aid with a variety of conditions such as tendinitis and CTS.
Vertical Mouse – Pros and Cons
Ergonomic Features of a Vertical Mouse
The design of a mouse prioritizes your comfort and as such aims to account for the health issues that occur over a long period of using a regular mouse. As mentioned, vertically aligned buttons create a handshake position. That detail is important since it creates a more relaxed position for your wrist, but also enables your forearm to rest on the table.
A smooth surface also makes it comfortable to the touch, but rubber texture ensures you have sufficient grip which makes a mouse both practical and suitable for any hand without clenching it.
Using a Vertical Mouse
Considering that most of us are used to the horizontal buttons and twisting motions of a regular mouse, it’s unusual to use the vertical one at first. Just as it was with a regular mouse when you started using it, you will have to take some time to figure out the vertical buttons as well as the right method of hand movement that grants the best performance.
There is more than one way to use this mouse, and the way you use it will depend on your preferences. For the correct method, you’ll need more space on your table. Namely, the key is to ground your forearm on the table, let the hand rest, and use the upper arm to move the mouse.
However, finding the best way for you personally will require some trial and error on your part. A vertical mouse serves the purpose as long as it requires less of a handgrip and puts less pressure on your wrist. People with existing pain in the wrist even prefer using solely the fingers to move a mouse around.
Purchasing a Vertical Mouse
If you consider buying a vertical mouse, it’s good to know that there isn’t such a wide array of choices in comparison to the horizontal ones. There are fewer models, colors, and manufacturers.
On that note, depending on the manufacturer, some vertical computer mouse devices might not be available for left-handed people. However, vertical mice technology is advancing every year due to their popularity and continual development. Therefore, we can expect more models in the future.
If you are left-handed, check out this article about left-handed keyboards.
Let’s Recap the Advantages and Disadvantages:
- Ergonomically designed mouse
- Comfortable in your hand
- Doesn’t put pressure on your wrist
- May not be suitable for left-handed
- Takes some time to pick up the speed
Is a Vertical Mouse Better for Your Wrist?
The main issue with a traditional mouse featuring the horizontal buttons is that it puts too much pressure on the wrist. Occasional use of a regular mouse would not put such a strain on your muscles. However, working 9 to 5 for years in such a position can cause discomfort, pain, and stress injuries in the wrist and palm.
Relaxed Handshake Position
Due to the previously mentioned handshake position, a vertical mouse requires using different muscles. The hand is not clenched, the forearm can rest on the table, your upper hand does the work, and the wrist is also relaxed in the neutral position that doesn’t stress the wrist. Therefore, large muscles move a mouse instead of the wrist, and your hand rests in a more natural position.
No More Wrist Twisting
Also, a vertical mouse can be beneficial for the health of your wrist. That is mainly because it does not require a twisting motion of the wrist. The original mouse design is maneuvered by rotating the wrist, which is not the most natural movement for humans. Therefore, it can be damaging in the long run.
Does a Vertical Mouse Help Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel is the issue we commonly associate with the extended use of a regular mouse, and it is the result of the twisting motion of the wrist.
The ergonomic design of a mouse lets your wrist rest relaxed on a vertical mouse, supports fingers, and does not require the forearm to rotate in the air. As a result, heavy computer users avoid counter-clockwise twisting of the wrist that causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Prevention
Therefore, a vertical mouse ultimately prevents median nerve compression that causes a hand to go numb or experience sensations of tingling or weakness. In other words, for those who use a mouse extensively over long periods, a vertical mouse can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Aid for the Existing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A vertical mouse can also be beneficial for you in case you already suffer from carpal tunnel. Considering the carpal tunnel can become progressively worse, it is necessary to adjust your work environment to the ergonomic one. That could mean switching from a trusted regular mouse to a more wrist-friendly one. A relaxed wrist on the mouse can ease the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and cease its further development.
A vertical mouse can help you work regardless of the existing carpal tunnel syndrome since you can operate the mouse with your forehand. What’s more, you’ll avoid additional stress on the already painful or numb areas of your hand.
Is a Vertical Mouse Good for Gaming?
Gamers and people who work long hours in the office are at the highest risk for suffering from medical complications that result from the long hours in front of a computer screen. Therefore, vertical mouse devices can be beneficial for gamers and their health but also help manage any existing wrist pain and injuries.
However, if you’re a gamer and want to switch to the vertical design, there is something to keep in mind. Namely, you’ll need some time to get the hang of it. Your precision will be decreased in the beginning, but once you rewire your brain for a different mouse, you’ll forget that you’re even using it.
You can also purchase models of vertical mouse devices that are most suitable for gaming purposes.
Verdict for gaming with a vertical mouse: it’s not practical when you transition, but it has long-term health benefits and can relieve the existing pain in your wrist.
Should You Switch to a Vertical Mouse?
A vertical mouse is one of the top ergonomic solutions for alleviating wrist pain. As such, this investment can cut your medical bills significantly in the long run. What’s more, this mouse is the major upgrade from a traditional mouse and it prioritizes your comfort. By getting the hand into the handshake position, this mouse has a better, more comfortable grip.
However, it’s also good to know that there is less choice for left-handed people and you’ll need to get accustomed to the design and figure out the best way for you to reap all the benefits of this innovative design.