The mouse is a standard piece of computer equipment. Computer users use the mouse almost three times as much as the keyboard. As exposure rates are high, improving upper extremity posture while using a computer mouse is very important. Not to mention, using a mouse regularly involves stationary positions, and small and repetitive movements of the same small muscles over and over again for prolonged periods of time. These factors can lead to discomfort, pain, and Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs).
There are two main reasons why using a mouse regularly can be hazardous.
- Using a mouse requires a person to make small, exact movements with their hand (wrist), fingers, and thumb. By positioning, travelling, scrolling, and clicking the mouse again and again, the same small muscles can become tired and overworked.
- The placement of the mouse can make it awkward to reach. Most times the mouse is placed around the upper right (or left) hand corner of the keyboard.
For these reasons we are always looking to see what new products are available to users address MSD challenges they might be facing. I recently discovered the RollerMouse Red, By Contour Design. This product intrigued me not only by the sleek and clean look, but also by the unique ergonomic considerations the product provides. We acquired one of these devices and gave it to our environmental engineer who spends significant time at his workstation to use and provide feedback on how it functions and feels.
User: Environmental Engineer of E.K.Gillin
Duration of use: 1 year (November 2016 – current)
Extent of keyboard-mouse user: 90% of office time
Primary Uses: auto CAD, spreadsheets, word documents
Borg CR-10 scale (2010) for upper extremity perceived exertion
- Prior to use: 1.5 (Weak) (using a Mac mouse with a cordless keyboard) with PC and Apple systems
- Currently: 0.5 (Extremely Weak)
Easy ability to alternate between using right and left hand to scroll and click
Ability to scroll with any finger
Ability to click with multiple finger on scroller or with thumb on clicker
Eliminates repetitive internal/external elbow and shoulder rotation when flipping between mouse and keyboard
Increased user efficiency by reduced distance between the mouse and keyboard
It is compact, thus providing efficient use of desk space
Easy to use (plug and play). Learning curve is very minimal.
High efficiency. Don’t need to leave home on keyboard when editing spreadsheets & documents.
Very comfortable mouse and hand pad
No compatibility issues with mac
Fit my keyboard well and there is a larger plus model available.
You can’t have it back!
The keyboard selected should align with the RollerMouse to allow the user to maintain the more ergonomic position. Contour provides the Balance keyboard that is designed to perfectly fit the RollerMouse Red.
It is important to make sure that the tilt of the keyboard used in front of the mouse is adjustable to the mouse for comfort
Most appropriate for users with average to small hands
The left and right side of the mouse extremities are limited. Mouse cursor jumps to edge of screen when mouse extremity is approached. Considered a minor disadvantage and still the preferred mouse device.
Less portable due to size, but would not go back to conventional mouse for permanent office desk location
No Bluetooth capability, however the new model RollerMouse Red Plus has Bluetooth
Overall, this product increases the distribution of loads over multiple muscles and muscle groups as well as reduces articular demands placed on the body.
Based on the user feedback and ergonomic findings of the RollerMouse, it is believed that this is an ergonomically beneficial alternative device to a standard mouse.
Worth the cost rating