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As working from home has become the new normal, we have begun to spend more time working from our laptops.
It is vital that you have the correct setup to avoid injuring yourself. You should ensure that your mouse is the correct size for your hand to minimize the risk of developing an RSI.
What do you need to measure your hand?
We suggest that you get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to record your measurements with.
You will also need a ruler or a tape measure. It may be easier to measure using a tape measure as this is flexible, but either implement will work sufficiently.
If you do not have access to either of these, you could also download a measuring app for your smartphone or tablet.
These are not quite as accurate but will work well enough for this purpose. They use the camera on your device to work out the size of physical objects.
How do you measure your hand?
To start with, lay your hand flat on a table or countertop. It does not matter whether your palm is facing up or down, just do whichever feels most comfortable.
You should round up all of your measurements to the nearest tenth of an inch, or 0.25 cm.
Keeping your fingers together, straighten them out completely. Do not relax your hand or spread your fingers.
These will change the measurements of your hand. It is important to measure your hand in a similar position to the way it would lie atop the mouse.
Measure the distance from your wrist to the tip of your middle finger. Use the crease near the base of your thumb as a guideline for where to start the measurement. Note down this measurement on your paper.
You should then measure the width of your palm. Start from where your thumb meets the palm of your hand, and measure the distance to the edge near to your little finger. Write down the number again.
Take note of which measurement each number corresponds to so that you don’t forget.
Check the size guide on the website of the mouse company. This will help you ascertain which mouse is the best fit for the size of your hand.
For instance, below are the Razer measurements for their mouses.
Under 6.7 inches
2.9 - 3.3 inches
6.7 - 7.9 inches
3.3 - 3.9 inches
Over 7.9 inches
3.9 - 4.3 inches
This is another important aspect of a mouse. There are 3 main variations in mouse grip styles.
It is important to choose a mouse that is suited to your preferred grip style. This is often stated by the manufacturer to make your choice easier.
Palm grip is one of the most popular styles used by gamers. It is a very relaxed and natural position for the hand to fall into while providing the most support possible.
This is because the palm and fingers are fully supported by lying across the mouse.
The claw grip is where your palm rests against the base of your mouse. Your fingertips will grip the sides and buttons. This is often less comfortable but offers more agility and dexterity.
The fingertip grip is the last style. Only your fingertips touch and grip the mouse, meaning that there is more control. This means that you can flick the mouse very quickly and gives you more finesse in terms of vertical movements.
There are 2 main types of computer mouse - ambidextrous and ergonomic. Both types are equally good, and it is a matter of personal choice as to which style you prefer.
Ergonomic mice are shaped to fit perfectly into the contours of your hand as it falls naturally. This is commonly designed to fit into the right hand.
Ambidextrous mice are shaped in a more neutral manner. This means that they will feel the same in both of your hands. They commonly have side buttons mounted on both sides of the mouse.
Again, this comes down to a matter of personal preference more than anything else. Some people will refuse to use a mouse weighing over 100g however there is no real reason behind this.
Some people will prefer a lighter mouse for the dexterity, whereas others prefer the resistance offered by a heavier mouse.
For games that require a lot of movement and clicks, lighter mice may be a better option. Heavier mice are likely to be better suited to games where the pace is slower and crosshair placement is important.
Some people prefer a basic mouse with a scroller and 2 buttons, whereas others prefer a whole host of additional features. These can include buttons on the side to make movement between tabs more efficient.
Some mice will have a free-scrolling wheel or a sniper button too. These are useful if you have a real need for them but many people are unlikely to use them.
This is one of the most important aspects of a computer mouse. Bad sensors can mean that your aim is knocked off and your on-screen cursor may jitter.
The benefit of having a good sensor on your mouse is that your physical movements will be accurately transmitted in the electronic space.
How to prevent injuries
We recommend moving your entire forearm as you move the mouse across the table. Do not just move your hand or wrist. This will ensure your shoulder and upper arm muscles are engaged and your risk of strains will be reduced.
When pressing the buttons of your mouse, press gently. This will stop you from overstraining your tendons and will increase the lifespan of your mouse.