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I am thinking of getting a vertical mouse to help with an RSI problem. Does anyone have any experience of them, would you recomend them?

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7 Answers 7

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I use an Evoulent VerticalMouse 3 at home and work; it's done wonders for my wrist pain. A quick list of pros and cons that I've noticed:

The Good

  • The grip is far more comfortable than on traditional mice
  • The sensor, despite being infrared, goes up to 2400dpi (I play a lot of video games, so this was key)
  • The build quality is solid (except for one button…)

The Bad

  • The mouse is fairly light, so if you prefer some heft to your pointing devices (like I do), using the VerticalMouse takes some adjustment
  • You need to have good arm/elbow support
  • Thumb button feels cheap
  • The DPI switch is on the bottom of the mouse

Like Ivo noted, the best thing to do is to give them a shot!

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Amen! Too bad some models can be quite expensive, simply because of their anti-RSI premise –  Ivo Flipse Aug 29 '09 at 9:12

Here's a compilation of interesting readings over @ stackoverflow on this topic:

Personally I have some experience with them and I found that you get used to any kind of mouse fairly quick.

I used a trackball mouse, a vertical mouse and used the mouse with my left hand (instead of right). Of these three possibilities the left handed way was the hardest, since coordination for my left hand is a lot harder than doing something different with my right. Though in the end it may be a cheaper/easier solution.

Simply put: give them a try!

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Although it may not be completely in line with your question. If you want to beat RSI you should start mousing with your other arm every now and then. I can tell you that certainly helps and is easy.

Next to this I have a trackball, the one you see below and I still use it alot. It is so nice when you get used to it. Lately I also noticed that it is quite usefull in situations where you dont have much space to mouse (trains, schools, other peoples desks when you bring your laptop.. ).

But on the vertical mouse, I have never used it but as said above, you adopt every input devicde quite fast :D.

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YES, Trackball FTW!! –  surfasb Aug 10 '11 at 7:01

From el reg: HandshoeMouse (Handshoe is the, rather literal, German and Dutch translation for glove)

Very high end with a price tag to match.

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A vertical mouse is something you have to lift and if you have to do this continuously, your RSI could return again. RSI is often caused by overuse of a certain tool. If you get RSI from your regular mouse, it's likely that you're using it intensively. You're likely to use the vertical mouse just as regular, thus it won't solve the RSI. Furthermore, you could also get RSI from your keyboard or even just by writing a lot with a pen.

You could, for example, use two mice on your system. Two different models and different shapes. Switch your mice regularly to break the repetitive motion. It also helps to change your sitting position to change the repetition that causes the RSI. It won't go away but it might reduce it a bit. Take regular breaks and do exercise with your arm and shoulder, which will lower your chances of developing RSI. And try to reduce possible stress factors. It is suggested that stress is one main cause for RSI.

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This depends on the type of vertical mouse. Some people call "air mice" vertical mice, where others just mean a differently shaped mouse. What works best for you depends on the individual. –  Joshua Nurczyk Aug 28 '09 at 0:46
    
Not much difference, since you're changing from one repetitive movement to another. That's where the R in RSI stands for. Tennisplayers can have similar injuries to elbow and shoulder, from doing the same movement over and over again. The best cure is breaking the rhythm. –  Wim ten Brink Aug 28 '09 at 13:50

At work I’ve used the Aerobic Mouse for years and find it very comfortable. It cradles your hand, oriented on edge, and allows your hand to completely relax except to click or scroll. Mousing accuracy is reduced because movement comes only from your arm and wrist, not fingers. Your elbow and forearm need good support. The included software provides automatic clicking by hovering and other aids for the physically impaired. I only tried it briefly, years ago, and do not remember it now. The cost of the mouse [~100 USD] must be for the software because the mouse itself is cheaply made.

At home, I emulated this design with a Logitech 'Trackman Wheel' [~30 USD] modified by gluing a 40 degree wedge under the left side to roll the trackball housing to the right, so that the ball faces up. This assembly is fixed to the keyboard tray of my desk to keep it positioned comfortably, my hand resting on edge, thumb up. These devices have relieved my wrist pain and numbness.

Aerobic Mouse http://www.aerobicmouse.com

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I have been using a DXT Vertical Mouse for some time now. Its designed to be used with your finger tips rather like holding a pen. Here are some pros and cons.

Pros

It has definately helped to make my mouse arm more comfortable as the position is much more natural.

Very nice to use, responsive and accurate.

Well designed and well made

Its about the same size as a normal mouse so looks good on the desk.

Can be set up to use left or right handed simply by pressing a button on the mouse. I find this particularly useful as I now can have two mice. I use the DXT with my left hand and a normal mouse with my right, switching regularly between them to reduce the load on any one arm.

Cons

Its taller than a normal mouse so I do have the tendency to knock it over when quickly moving my hand from the mouse to the keyboard. However with practise this is happening less often.

A bit pricey

To start with clicking the secondary mouse button didnt feel at all natural, took me a while to get used to it.

Overall I wouldnt say this totally solved my problems but it has definately helped.

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