November 10


RSI Prevention part 3 – The Evils of PC Mice

By Tim


Mice Are Evil!

This is the third part of my series on ergonomics.

Last time I looked at managing your time on the computer.
This time I’m going to get on my soapbox, and tell you how evil mice are.

Evil Mouse
Ergonomically speaking: spawn of the devil

Just think about your average mouse. It sits there, looking so innocent, just willing you to grab it by the neck and, er… cough …but that’s where you’re suckered in!
Don’t trust it! It’s bad for you! (Hmm, bit of a theme developing here. Can you tell that I’m prejudiced against mice?)

The trouble is that we’re so used to seeing and using these things that IMO, we take them for granted and in many cases are simply unaware of the damage that they do to us.

The fact of the matter is that the humble mouse was designed with computers in mind, not people!

What your mouse actually does is force your arm into an unnatural position and then make you perform very small movements with muscles that were designed to perform large movements. The mouse has gotten away with this because for many people, the amount of time spent at a computer started off reasonably limited.

However over the years, more and more people have found themselves working with computers for longer hours and for a higher percentage of their time each day.

The result can be aches and pains in hands, wrists or shoulders; or worse, radiating pain going right up your arm and into your neck. Trust me, I’ve had this and it’s not a good place to be in. When that happens, it’s time to ditch that rodent.

Ditch That Evil Mouse!

So what are the alternatives?

One way forward is simply to limit the amount you use the mouse by using other input methods. Alternatively, you could change the mouse for another kind of pointing device. …or you could do a bit of both…

From my personal experience, here are some possibilities in order of my discovery of them:
1. The Keyboard
2. Trackballs
3. Graphics Tablets
4. Ergonomic Mice

I’ll give each of these some thought over the next few posts.

Next time I’ll look at the keyboard and how revisiting it can help you reduce the strain…

This is part 3 of a series of articles on Ergonomics and computers.
Follow the links below to the rest of the series:

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About the author

I'm Tim Bader, founder of and the Ergonomic Toolbox training course. I am a writer, author, blogger and church leader, and I help people to overcome RSI and live comfortably with technology.
When I'm not writing, helping or training people, I live at home with my wife, two teenage kids and Playstation.

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Overcome pain and discomfort caused by Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)