March 26


Opinion: Vertical Mouse Is Best Ergonomic Mouse Alternative

By Tim


This is part 7 of a series on RSI. Here, I’ll recommend that you consider vertical mouse alternatives.
(In my last two posts, I talked about Trackballs and Graphics Tablets.)

Move To Vertical Mouse Alternatives

The tablet and trackball combination kept me going for a good while, but recently I went through another stage of having trouble in my hands and arms.
vertical mouse - ergonomic mouse alternatives
Thankfully, the company where I work has been very supportive and got an Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) to come in to look at my setup.
Incidentally, having a proper setup and regular work station assessments are legal requirements for computer workers in the UK!*
The first thing the OHN did was take a good look at my posture. Having read up on this in the past, I thought I was doing the right thing, but she corrected several issues immediately, and got the company to buy me a new chair.
I’ll talk about the importance of posture in another post but for the moment, take a look at the vertical mouse she recommended to me:


Molten Vertical Mouse Alternatives

“That’s the weirdest looking mouse I’ve ever seen!”
“It’s melted!”
These were just two of the comments I got when my vertical mouse first arrived. However, once that was out of the way I plugged it in and was immediately impressed by how comfortable it was. I didn’t find any kind of learning curve with it, but that may be because I am already used to different kinds of controllers.
I will post a separate review of this device (hint: I think it is fantastic and very well thought out), but the main thing that they advertise is that is puts your arm in a more natural position. See for details of the mouse and what they call the “handshake grip”.
There are multiple, programmable buttons and a scroll wheel which all seem to be positioned at the perfect place for your hand to fit like a glove.

Vertical Mouse Drivers

You will need to install the drivers for your vertical mouse in order to program the buttons. These are easy to install although oddly, they come on a mini-disk in the box. I’ve never had a machine capable of reading a mini-disk, but you can download the drivers from their website anyway.
The default configuration is for the middle button to perform a double-click with your middle finger, while the third button (operated by your third and/or fourth finger) is for right-clicks.
I thought this was very odd at first and promptly switched them over with the easy to use interface. However, I switched them back again within a day as I found that my third and fourth fingers were aching!
Double-clicks are far more common than I would have expected, so they really have thought of everything.

Gotta Hand It To My Vertical Mouse

β€œAny downsides?”, I hear you ask.
Well, it’s expensive for a mouse, but then one could argue what price is your health?
It’s “handed”: you can get left handed or right handed versions so no swapping between them ..unless you buy one for each hand!
It uses your arm, similar to a normal mouse, so it may not be suitable if your pain is primarily in your arm and/or neck.
I still occasionally get aches in my arms/shoulders/neck, but overall I have found this mouse has done more than any other to reduce the problems I had.
Currently, I have a left handed vertical mouse and still retain my trackball to the right hand side of my keyboard. At some point, I may see if I can get a right-handed vertical mouse to complete the set!
That wraps it up for now. Next time, I’ll be looking at the importance of posture.

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)