An ailment known as repetitive strain injury, or RSI, can be a very common issue for some individuals to face, especially gamers that spend a good bit of their day sitting at a computer holding a mouse.
This injury involves pain and stiffness in the wrist and fingers due to the restricted movement your mouse-hand receives.
Ergonomic mice can be a great way to limit your risk of an RSI.
Their shape and size help keep your hand in a more comfortable position, with some mice being in a vertical position to help eliminate the risk of injuries to your wrist or elbow.
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Are Ergonomic Mice Good for Gaming?
As with an ergonomic chair, finding the right ergonomic mouse can take some time and effort on your part. Not every ergonomic mouse will be comfortable in your hand. Some may be too large, while others are too small.
Finding the right ergonomic mouse may mean you will purchase several before finding the one that actually benefits you. However, once you find the right ergonomic mouse, it can be an excellent tool for use with gaming.
As a gamer, you will be spending several hours at a time using a mouse. And in some gaming situations, precision and speed are extremely vital, especially when it comes to FPS-type games.
If your mouse is ergonomic and highly comfortable in your hand, you won’t experience muscle strain, stiffness or cramping in your fingers or wrist.
You will have a full range of motion throughout your entire gaming session, meaning you can focus on your gameplay and not the pain you are feeling in your hand.
Gaming mice can be found in a variety of styles. Some of the simple ones will include thumb padding or thumb buttons. These are a way to provide comfortable access to multiple macro buttons without having to move your hand from your mouse to your keyboard.
Additionally, you can find vertical gaming mice as well. These upright mice are similar to using a joystick, only retaining the standard rolling ball or laser capabilities of a standard mouse.
You can also find touchpad mice, which are a combination of a standard mouse and the keypad on your keyboard.
These are less ergonomic and more utility-based, giving you a higher range of control over the standard 3- or 5-button mouse. However, many users say the flatter and more stretched out position of your hand on the touchpad mouse helps relieve strain and stiffness in your fingers.
Are Vertical Gaming Mice Good?
Vertical mice are somewhat rare, but when you see them, their unique shape and promises of ultimate levels of comfort may be tempting.
If you spend a large amount of time using a mouse, you might be searching for something that can help reduce the strain or fatigue on your fingers and wrist.
The point of a vertical mouse is to position your arm in a natural position. Instead of being palm-down on a standard mouse, your hand will instead be positioned with the palm to the side as if you were performing a handshake.
This natural position reduces strain on muscles from your fingers to your elbow, and can even reduce fatigue in the shoulder area. However, the precision you have when moving the cursor around the screen is much less with a vertical mouse than a standard mouse.
As a result, a vertical mouse may only be suitable for certain projects such as some text based programs, some art programs, and general browsing.
They may not be suitable for gaming, especially if you are into FPS or fast-paced, RTS games where precision clicking and “flicking” of the wrist can mean the difference in winning and losing.
Are Ergonomic Mice Better?
If you suffer from an RSI or other issues with the range of motion and stiffness in your fingers, wrist, elbow or shoulder caused by using a standard mouse, investing in an ergonomic mouse can help reduce your pain and stiffness.
The simple change of wrist position or hand shape can provide pain relief as well as reduce fatigue over time.
While a vertical mouse is normally only suitable for certain situations, a high quality ergonomic mouse can help open up your hand and provide a better range of motion for your fingers and wrist.
If that wasn’t enough, many ergonomic mice include additional thumb buttons or tiny joysticks to help provide a higher level of utility while limiting your need for drastic and repetitive movements with the mouse.
If you spend a lot of time at the computer using a mouse, investing in an ergonomic mouse can go a long way in reducing your risk of a repetitive strain injury or other hand and wrist issues.
For gamers especially, finding a good ergonomic mouse that fits your hand can be a worthwhile investment when it comes to your computer accessories.
However, be prepared to spend some time trying out different ergonomic mice to find the right one for you. Some ergonomic mice are large and may not work for your hand size. Others may be too small and will only add to the fatigue and strain you feel.
Don’t be afraid to purchase a few different mice and try them out. You can always return or resell the ones that don’t work out for you.
If considering a vertical mouse, keep in mind that while they are a great option for reducing hand and wrist fatigue and pain, they are not the most suitable for gaming.
If you are into FPS games or RTS games where quick movements or fast response is necessary, you might want to stick with a standard style mouse. Even though it keeps your hand in the palm-down position, it lends itself better to your gaming abilities.
Plus, once you find the right ergonomic mouse for your hand shape and size, the position of your palm will not be as important of a consideration.