“Action Is Reaction”: The Impact on your Computer Mouse

Author: Drs. ing. Paul C. Helder

One of the major rules of physics is action is reaction.
This brings me to the following point.
You most likely have been working with a regular mouse or “so called” ergonomic one for quite some time.
One of the phenomena you must have noticed is that the muscles in your forearm get tired. Let me explain.

There are hardly any muscles in your hands – just a group of so-called small hand muscles. The major ones which control gripping and pinching of fingers etc. are situated in your forearm. It is only their tendons which run into your hand and to your fingers.

These tendons therefore have to move through a guide, one of which is the Carpal Tunnel, the other one is Guyon’s Canal.

Chain Reaction and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The chain reaction we activate by deliberately gripping anything like a pen or a door handle, but also a regular mouse, has a significant effect on our upper body. This action force even reaches our deep neck muscles.
Please be aware that emotional stress may also have similar effects.

lymphatic flow
costaclavicular gate near neck

The strain in the deep neck muscles has a rather negative effect, for these muscles are also connected to the first rib.
By straining them we exert tension which can even lift the first rib.

During laboratory research we noticed that this has a negative effect on both arterial flow and nerves. Why? Because the first rib and clavicle bone are positioned above each other and thereby create a gate through which arteries, veins and nerves run.

So it makes sense that when we strain for example by gripping and pinching, we cause a pinching action in this gate. As a result you can get cold and or numb fingers.

The above mentioned flow restriction backwards to the heart also has a pinching effect on tendons running through the Carpal Tunnel.

How to Prevent Stresses and Strains

All in all, it is obvious that we have to prevent unnecessary stresses and strains.

One of the easiest ways to prevent excessive muscle tension in the forearm is neither to grip and pinch nor to hover the fingers above the mouse buttons. Thus we prevent the chain reaction which affects the deep neck muscles.

In an earlier blog post I already mentioned the negative effect of keyboard trays. These force the arm to hover and thus also instigate this chain reaction which results in strain in the neck and Trapezius muscles.

That’s why we advise to support the forearm. Preferably ¾ of the forearm on the desk, hand on the HandShoe Mouse and ¼ up to the elbow, free from the desk. This to allow easy movement of the hand with the mouse using the support point of the forearm as hinge pin.

Of course a good arm rest will also do.
See quotation Prof. Chen (bulged part rolling laterally on the desk led).

During our fundamental and field research which resulted in the development of the HandShoe Mouse, we noticed the significant impact of the above mentioned forces.
Because in general one is concentrated on the job i.e. controlling cursor and mouse and typing, one forgets all about the physical discomforts this instigates.
Only after work, when one relaxes, we start noticing this.

The above research resulted in a design which directs all grip forces to the palm of the hand, thereby preventing unnecessary reaction forces in the fingers and a fully relaxed thumb.

Please be aware, your muscles take time to fully relax and cure from gripping and pinching due to working with a conventional mouse. So you have to have a bit of patience when you start working with the HandShoe Mouse to experience its positive effects.

We therefore appreciate the following remark of a HandShoe Mouse user:

“I just want you to know that I really like this mouse and I definitely want to keep using one.
It has helped me with my hand, wrist, and arm issues.”


The Benefits of Using a HandShoe Mouse

With more and more people interacting with touchscreen devices rather than traditional computing inputs, you might be forgiven for thinking that the era of the mouse and keyboard is over. Even Microsoft has decided to embrace tactile displays, with Windows 8 doing away with the Start menu and turning its primary interface into a touch-friendly, tiled affair.

However, millions of people still need computer mice in order to interact with their PCs and there are plenty of different options on the market, from the basic to the specialist. The HandShoe mouse falls into the latter category, setting out to offer users the most ergonomic pointing experience on the market thanks to its fluid, intuitive design that, as the name suggests, fits your hand like a shoe fits your foot.

Using a mouse all day every day can leave you with more than just sore joints; you might also develop serious disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, or a repetitive strain injury. This is because the standard design of a mouse is not all that ergonomic, requiring that you hold your hand in an unnatural position for an extended period, thus perpetuating these issues.

handshoe mouse benefitsThe imperfect design of mice also means that when you hold them, your fingers will often be hovering over the buttons while you grip the unit from the side. This means that your hand and arm are never at rest and this tension can build up over time and do you damage.

The HandShoe mouse has been created in order to combat the issues associated with standard pointing devices, with the design based on research conducted by a Dutch medical university.

The mouse itself is large enough to rest your entire palm on its surface, while your fingers and thumb will fall naturally into a comfortable position while still giving you access to all of the buttons typically found on this kind of device.

The idea is that your hand and wrist will be provided with support and the shape of the mouse, which has been awarded a patent, will not require any of the usual gripping or pinching which can be the root of physical problems caused by traditional mice.

Choice of Three Sizes

The HandShoe mouse does not take a one size fits all approach. Instead there is a choice of three sizes that accommodate people with small, medium or large hands.

There are of course other mouse devices out there that claim to be ergonomically designed, but few can match up to the HandShoe mouse when it comes to the quality of the experience. If you have to spend all day at a PC and do not believe that the touch screen revolution is going to trickle down to standard desktop machines for some time, this product could offer you the relief you require.

You can always use mobile phone contracts to get your fill of touchscreen interaction and then take advantage of the HandShoe mouse when you are at the office or in your den at home.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Explained

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Today, more and more people world wide realise that it is important to support your hand when using a computer mouse. If you’re using a mouse that doesn’t fully support your hand, you may eventually experience serious neural effects.

This short video explains why that happens: when you push your hand on the desk and force it in a gripping, claw-like position, your wrist is forced in an awkward, bent position. Tendons may become irritated and swollen.

Pins and Needles

This causes excessive pressure on the median nerve which controls your hand and fingers. First you will notice a feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers, followed by loss of sensation and even a burning pain. This phenomenon is generally called carpal tunnel syndrome. The shape of the HandShoe Mouse provides full support of the hand and fingers to prevent this harmful pressure on the wrist. Please be aware that, even after providing relief from this pressure, the nerve stays tender and may still provoke pins and needles for weeks afterwards. But when you keep using this truly ergonomic mouse you should feel the difference!

Watch the short video:

Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Go to the HandShoe Mouse website.