22 December 2008

My Favorite Mouse

As a programmer, I naturally spend a good portion of my waking hours--if not the majority--in front of a computer. This didn't seem a problem for the first quarter century of my life, but then about three years ago, I started experiencing pain in my mousing wrist. My first thought was that the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome was setting in, which freaked me out.

I immediately set out to try more ergonomic input devices, and I switched to a pen input device at home and a radical ergonomic mouse at work. While the pen input device worked fairly well, the ergonomic mouse I chose proved to be the single greatest purchase I've ever made. Since starting to use it, I no longer have any pain in my wrist. I now realize that with the many viable ergonomic options for mousing that are available, no computer user should be using the very dangerous standard mouse.

Anyway, the mouse that I wholeheartedly recommend is the 3M Ergonomic Optical Mouse:

It is definitely a strange looking mouse, but the strange shape is what makes it work so well. This mouse fixes two problems with traditional mice:

1. Traditional mice force your arm to twist, causing your tendons to rub against each other, which causes inflammation and pain. By letting your arm sit in a much more natural arm-shaking position, the ergonomic mouse prevents this.

2. When using traditional mice, your wrist, with all it's delicate parts, does all the moving. The ergonomic mouse, on the other hand, keeps the wrist straight and the arm becomes the moving part.

So again, I highly recommend this mouse (or a pen tablet) to all computer users, and especially to programmers.

(Note: Just in case anyone thinks I am advertising for 3M, no, I am not in any way sponsored by or affiliated with them.)


Aendolin said...

Do they work for lefties?

Kevin Albrecht said...


They have a version for lefties, too. But it might be easy to left with your non-dominant hand, anyway. I used to mouse with my left hand-- it took about a week for me to become as fast with my left as with my right.