Having a perfect technique to hold a mouse may not sound pleasing to users working on their computer monotonously for hours. However, knowing the right technique should matter to you as it can save you from an unexpected injury and even save time.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arm and hand) is one such example that happens often among people in workplaces.
Do you know why this is a common syndrome? Blame the mouse and the lack of information regarding how to hold it.
Wrong ways of handling a mouse or repetitive movements can lead to serious consequences like repetitive strain injury, finger/wrist/shoulder injury, or even carpal tunnel syndrome.
To avoid going through such misery, we’ve got an array of tips to help you out and let you know the proper way to hold a mouse.
Ergonomic Ways to Hold Your Mouse
The correct way of holding a mouse is on the same lines as doing yoga or standing straight. While holding the mouse, there shouldn’t be any awkward postures and continuous stress on your arm, wrist, and fingers.
You need to hold the mouse in a way that prolonged usage doesn’t affect you in the form of pain or discomfort.
As you’ve got hold of the basics, let’s dive into the proper ways to hold a mouse –
1. Do Not Grip Your Mouse
When you grip your mouse more tightly, it does apply pressure to yourself, leading to an injury or discomfort later on. Gripping can cause damage to the ligaments in the fingers as well as nerves.
It is something that you need to keep in mind for a comfortable surfing experience on your computer/laptop.
To make sure that you aren’t gripping the mouse, go take a look at the right hand of yours while it is resting on the mouse currently.
Are your fingers and palm of your hands are completely resting on the mouse? If the answer is a yes, you’re doing great!
Your hand in overall terms must feel well supported and weightless on the mouse. Additionally, make sure that your thumbs or the pinky finger aren’t subconsciously getting strained to avoid slipping off the mouse.
2. Select the Ideal Sized Mouse as per your Hand
The size of a mouse makes a lot of difference and it can decide the comfort your hand will be provided with. Many times, a mouse posture can be the result of a mouse being too small for a person or kind of too big for your hands.
Whether the mouse is smaller or bigger, it is bound to create problems for you until you find the ideal size as per your hands.
An improperly sized mouse can result in tension in various parts of your hands, while you adjust your fingers to move the mouse.
Therefore, get a mouse that fits your hands well.
3. Keep the Mouse Nearby
Position the mouse in such a way that it is within easy reach, and you do not have to stretch for it. Make sure that the working elbow is around 90-100 degrees continuously and the mouse is at an easy distance from you.
Additionally, too much overreaching can cause stress and injury to the shoulders and arms. For your betterment, it is advised that the mouse should be near your hands without the requirement of overreaching.
4. Avoid too much usage of Windshield Motions
As you know, your wrist is a powerhouse filled with blood vessels, nerves, and so on. However, constant pressure on it can lead to numerous problems like pain in the wrist or even Carpal tunnel syndrome.
The continuous pushing of the mouse cursor also referred to as windshield motions can spell trouble.
Nevertheless, you can tweak such things to put it to your advantage and keep your wrist stress free.
When you operate a mouse, it is recommended that you reduce too much ulnar and radial deviation of the wrist (Right & Left windshield motions). This can be possible by:
- Increasing DPI sensitivity – By increasing the DPI sensitivity of the mouse in a subtle way (not too much), moving the mouse with smaller movements would yield the same amount of cursor travel as before. This would mean that you wouldn’t have to move your mouse much to work smoothly.
- Take Breaks – Keeping your hands and wrist free by performing related exercises every day is essential. Also, taking breaks at regular intervals for proper circulation of your hands is highly recommended.
- Learning to maneuver the mouse – By learning to skillfully move the mouse by pivoting at the elbow and making sure the wrist is completely still.
- Using Trackball Mouse – A trackball mouse can be a handy option as it does not involve the usage of the wrist during its working.
How do I need to hold a Mouse to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
First of all, you need to hold the mouse loose and click it lightly. When you grip the mouse tight, it can result in pain or injury to your hand. To avoid going through the misery of Carpal tunnel syndrome, it would be ideal to hold the mouse similar to a handshake position.
This way, no kind of forearm muscles are in action to keep the posture, with wrist rotation being minimal that can compress the carpal tunnel and result in inflammation.
To think about a handshake position with a mouse, try going for a vertical mouse with a deep slope on the side that provides support to your fingers.
Types of Mouse Grips
The three main types of mouse grips that we use in our everyday life are the palm, claw, and fingertip grip. All three grips have their specialty and limitations, with each providing utmost comfort to a user.
1. Palm Grip
The palm grip is known to be the most popular one out of the three as many users prefer this grip. It does come at the expense of decreased mouse agility but with a relaxed grip in which the hand is cupped and the fingers along with the palm touch the mouse.
In this position, the arm will be doing all the heavy work, making it ideal for large gliding movements instead of accurate movements.
- Relaxed Grip – If you are comfortable with a palm grip, it can be useful for your long hours of continuous work.
- Controlling is easy – Palm grip does provide easier control of the mouse, resulting in long gliding motions.
- Low precision – When compared to other grips, it does fall back.
- Not comfortable – It might be the most common grip, however, it isn’t comfortable when compared with fingertip or claw grip.
2. The Fingertip Grip
The fingertip grip takes off the palm and relies heavily on the fingers for the movement of the mouse. This grip is a perfect fit for bigger-handed people who might not be able to fit in their full palm on the mouse. In this particular grip, only the fingertips are in contact with the mouse and resulting in quick movements.
However, your hands are bound to tire faster. If a person uses this grip, it does indicate the mouse is too small for their hands. Additionally, it is the hardest grip to master out of the three.
- Faster Reaction – With this grip you’re assured to have a quick reaction time, leading to faster work.
- Faster Mouse Click – Thanks to its ability with faster movements, you can have a quick mouse click.
- Tough to Master – Due to its complex placement on the mouse, it is a difficult art to master.
- Lesser precision – It might be fast, but it falls behind when it comes to being precise as you’ll find more mistakes while working with this grip.
3. The Claw Grip
In this grip, the focus is on the fingers with only a certain part of the palm is resting on the mouse. The raised knuckles on top of the mouse do provide you with a claw-like look to it.
This is a perfect grip for those who need to move their mouse back and forth at a rapid speed with high precision as well. If you’re into gaming, you would be well aware of its importance as many gamers prefer this grip.
- Faster Gliding Motion – It provides you with a faster experience to move precisely and is highly enjoyable.
- Better stability than a palm grip – It does offer better stability when compared to a palm grip, which is surprising.
- Low accuracy – The precision of the claw grip is on the lower side, which is disappointing.
- High chances of injury – Since the fingers are arched upwards, after a certain time they do feel tired and might result in discomfort and pain.