Pros: Comfortable, ergonomic
My company has a very strong safety culture. Of course, as an office worker, my biggest injury opportunities are slippery winter sidewalk, tripping on the stairs and computer related repetitive motion injury. When my wrist and arm began to ache and tingle I requested an ergonomic assessment of my work area. One of the first recommendations was to order an Evoluent Vertical Mouse.
What’s the Difference?
With a standard mouse your arm needs to twist inward so it is parallel with the work surface. This can put tension on your wrist and hand and cause fatigue. With a vertical mouse your hand is kept in a more neutral position, perpendicular to the work surface. Holding the Evoluent Vertical Mouse is almost like shaking hands with it.
Otherwise the setup is the same, left button for your index finger, scroll wheel for your middle finger and right button for your ring finger. There is an additional button to adjust the pointer speed and a display above the thumb rest shows you which if 4 speed settings you are using. There are two additional buttons on the thumb side of the mouse that can be customized using the included drivers.
Because of the unique position you have to order either a left or right handed mouse; you can’t switch. The mouse is also available in two sizes for the best fit; small and regular.
The Evoluent Vertical Mouse is an optical mouse that uses standard plug and play technology. Simply plug it into a USB port, wait for the computer to recognize it and you are ready to mouse away. If you want to customize the thumb buttons, the included driver is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. I have never bothered to do this. Wireless versions of this mouse are also available.
It did take few days to get used to my new mouse and gripping it differently. Functionally the adjustment was minimal since how I use the mouse didn’t change; only the way I held it did. After a week or so I did start to notice an improvement in how my arm and wrist were feeling. The nerve tingling was gone and the pain along the outside of my hand was diminishing as well. It isn’t perfect. The shape doesn’t quite fit my hand correctly and even though there is a rest for my pinkie finger I find that sometimes it drag along the mouse pad I use. The plastic seems to attract more than an average amount of dirt and grime. A warning that came with the mouse advises against using antibacterial wipes or handling the mouse after using antibacterial hand cleaners as it may damage the plastic finish.
After almost a year of use I can say that I am quite happy with my Evoluent Vertical Mouse. It has definitely improved my arm pain and is quite comfortable to use once you get used to it. It is quite pricey at about $100 but well worth it.