What You’ll Do: It’s not just the keyboard that can make your hands and wrists sore and painful; the mouse is also a culprit. Most people experience wrist pain and other repetitive stress injury (RSI)) symptoms in their “mouse hands.” This is because the hand directing the mouse never rests and is constantly performing very small, fine muscle movements. This week, you’ll learn alternatives to using the mouse with the same hand all the time.
How It Works: You’ll learn alternatives to using the mouse that are better for your hands and wrists. These new moves may take a few days to feel “normal,” but they have actually been shown to be much faster and easier to use than the mouse once people get used to them.
Get Motivated: The mouse puts many people’s hands and wrists “over the edge.” The constant use of the mouse, with its fine motions, can really damage your wrist. Learning to use the mouse correctly is the next step in your plan to prevent RSI.
- Expect it to take some time before you get used to the keyboard shortcuts. Have a printout of the commands next to your computer until you memorize them.
- Be careful with contorting your hands while using keyboard shortcuts. Remember to use both hands for any key combination that is awkward.
- Be very certain that you are not resting your wrist on the table or desk while using the mouse. You want to use big, wide motions for controlling the mouse, rather than tiny, fine ones.
Unplug your mouse. Just take the plunge and unplug it entirely. There is nothing you can’t do using keyboard commands and even your voice. There will be a learning curve as you discover how to make menu options and links in websites pop up to be selected. It will take you a couple of days to get used to it, but then you won’t need a mouse anymore. People say that their efficiency increases greatly when they get rid of the mouse.
Here is the whole program. Give each one a solid one-week try, and then come back and do the next one. If you want a reminder, sign up for the Prevent RSI E-Course. It is free, and you’ll get short e-mail reminders each day to help keep you on track.