The Ergonomics of the Vertical Computer Mouse: A Deep Dive into Design and Discomfort

In the world of modern technology, the computer mouse is a ubiquitous tool, essential for daily operations across the globe. However, not all mice are created equal, and the quest for ergonomic design is more critical than ever. Recent investigations by medical professionals at Erasmus Medical Faculty in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Hasselt University in Belgium have shed light on the profound impacts of mouse design on our health.

Ergonomic Flaws and Their Implications

A startling revelation from these studies is the ergonomic flaws inherent in many mouse designs, particularly vertical mice. These designs can force the forearm and hand into positions that promote unnecessary stress on the interosseous membrane, a condition that can extend discomfort to the neck, shoulders, and even result in repetitive strain injury (RSI). The correct angle of the forearm and hand is crucial to avoid such issues, underscoring the importance of ergonomic design in preventing long-term discomfort and injury.

Furthermore, traditional computer mice often fail to provide adequate support for the hand, leading to increased strain in the fingers and the thumb joint, specifically the Carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. This joint is particularly vulnerable to stress, which can result in severe conditions requiring surgery or the introduction of implants—a truly painful and undesirable outcome.

Innovative Solutions: The HandshoeMouse®

In response to these findings, efforts have been made to develop a mouse that addresses these ergonomic concerns—the HandshoeMouse®. This mouse is designed to support the natural position of the hand and forearm, reducing the risk of the aforementioned strains and stresses.

Research Insights

The research conducted under the guidance of Professor Van Zwieten in Hasselt has been pivotal in understanding the relationship between mouse use and physical discomfort. It highlighted the importance of supporting the forearm on a desktop or armrest to prevent reaching and strain. The research has proven that proper support for the hand, as provided by the HandshoeMouse®, significantly benefits the upper extremity’s functionality.

The HandshoeMouse®: A Step Towards Comfort

As featured in The Wall Street Journal, the HandshoeMouse® is recognized for its unique design, aimed specifically at combating carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries. Its distinctive shape provides full support for the hand, eliminating the temptation to “plant” the wrist and pivot. Available in three sizes, with models for both left- and right-handed users, and in wired and wireless styles, the HandshoeMouse® is a testament to ergonomic innovation.

“You’re never tempted to “plant” the wrist and pivot, because you really can’t.”



The quest for the perfect ergonomic mouse is more than a matter of comfort—it’s about preventing long-term injury and enhancing productivity. As we continue to rely on technology in our daily lives, it’s imperative that we give due consideration to the tools we use and their impact on our health. The HandshoeMouse® represents a significant step forward in this journey, offering a solution that is both innovative and grounded in extensive research.

With this information in mind, it’s clear that the design of our computer peripherals, particularly the mouse, is not just a matter of functionality but also a critical health consideration. The HandshoeMouse® serves as a pioneering example of how ergonomic research can lead to product innovations that not only enhance user experience but also contribute significantly to user health and well-being.

Kind regards,

Related Lab Articles