With so many of us spending our working days behind a desk working with computers, it is important to know what effect this can have on our bodies. We already understand how sitting still for too long can cause damage to your back, and the latest research suggests there is another danger on your desk that you perhaps haven’t considered.
BakkerElkhuizen’s own research suggest that the standard mouse we use every day can cause an unnatural posture that contributes to the risk of developing wrist and lower arm problems (e.g. Karlqvist 1994, Jensen, 1998, Hagberg 1994). The positioning of the mouse closer to the body can help relieve neck and shoulder strain (Armstrom 1995, Cook 1998) and productivity is shown to be reduced when using trackballs and touchpads, whereas standard mice and pen tablets earn high productivity scores. This all suggests we work better when using a mouse but there is a risk that is can cause damage to your wrist, shoulder and neck.
The Handshake Mouse from BakkerElkhuizen, unlike a traditional mouse, is constructed with a vertical grip or “handshake” position. It still has the classic two buttons and a scroll wheel configuration, however when using the vertical mouse, the wrist doesn't bend sideways as much as it would with a regular mouse and the lower arm requires less inward rotation. This all adds up to less muscle activity in the lower arm and increased muscle tension than when using the mouse.
The SRM Mouse has been designed for small and medium-sized hands (width up to 7.5 cm, measured flat at the hand's widest point, excluding the thumb) and the ‘Evoluent’ mouse is better for larger hands (hand widths up to 9 cm, excluding the thumb). Specs include adjustable DPI, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200. It is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, the dimensions are 68W x 70H x 120Dmm and it weighs in at 147g.
When you first begin using the Handshake Mouse it will feel quite strange, but your body adapts to it. There is a slight edge where the two main pieces join together, and I found after prolonged use it did begin to irritate - it sits right on the webbing between my index finger and thumb, but this could be just another teething problem. You can begin using it straight away without needing to install any additional software and the buttons & wheels are quick to respond.
I broke my hand years ago and often find when using a standard mouse my little finger gets cold, numb and begins to ache along my wrist. I found the Handshake Mouse more comfortable to use - I still experienced a little numbness, but it was less than before which proves to me that it must be better for your body. RRP £62.00
4.5 out of 5
Reduced strain and numbness in my hand
Short transition period
No software needed
Sharp edge can irritate palm