During our field study to develop the HandShoe Mouse, we noticed that a non supported arm resulted in complaints in neck and shoulders (Trapezius muscle). The advice to support the arm and let the hand rest on the body of the HandShoe Mouse quickly resulted in a reduction of complaints.
Our team of Erasmus University Medical Centre reported the field study in the paper “Result of the use of a hand supporting computer mouse by patients with neck and shoulder complaints” (2006).
These results are confirmed in the paper by Prof. Han Ming Chen “The effect on forearm and shoulder muscle activity in using different slanted computer mice” (2007).
Through the years we have been addressing the negative effects of the use of for example keyboard trays. This in view of the excessive muscle loads incurred due to forearm and hand not being supported.
Effects of Forearm and Palm Support
Therefore we are pleased that the recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health “Effects of forearm and palm supports on the upper extremity during computer mouse use” (2013) confirms these earlier studies.
In line with the above, it is interesting to know that the use of a slanted mouse like the HandShoe Mouse prevents the possible negative effect of support of a forearm on a hard surface like a desktop. Of course a good alternative to provide the necessary support are chairs with armrests.
Desktops with sufficient space provide the significant advantage that one is free to move.
This contrary to arrangements which inhibit free movement and force a person in a rigid position without enough space to work e.g. put down papers etc.
In line with the above mentioned publications forearm and hand support are a prerequisite for a comfortable working position and to prevent unnecessary loads in Trapezius and deep neck muscles.