02 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Using your mouse effectively and safely.

The most common work-related musculoskeletal forearm/elbow syndrome lateral epicondylitis, is actually something you might have heard about, but never remembered (maybe it’s the name). You may recognize this syndrome by its nickname – “tennis elbow”. According to WebMD, “tennis elbow” is characterized by a significant pain in one’s elbow due to overuse of forearm and elbow muscles. Luckily, there aren’t any 90 MPH serves and referees to worry about in a typical office setting but nonetheless, there are some risks associated with the items you may use on a daily basis – such as your mouse. Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow can be onset by how we “wait” to click our mice when using the computer. For example, if I am anxiously awaiting a file to download so I can quickly open it, I would have my pointer on the icon of the file, with my index finger raised over the right click button – almost hovering above it. Holding my wrist and fingers up to maintain this arm position while I am waiting for my Lady Gaga Mp3 to download strains the tendons and muscles that, over time, could lead to lateral epicondylitis. Of course, it would be irrationally difficult to completely cease placing one’s hands in this position, but awareness of the long-term effects of keeping one’s hands in a “wait-for-it” position on a mouse is key to reducing this action as much as possible, seeking alternatives, and preventing tennis elbow! If you feel that it is dangerously typical of you to engage your hands in the “wait-for-it” position, consider speaking with a doctor or medical professional and test out different types of mouse designs. Perhaps a mouse designed for gaming or a trackball might be the solution for your tendency to “wait-for-it”.

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