DePaul University Environmental Health and Safety > Ergonomics > Office Ergo > Using a Mouse

Using a Mouse

Potential Hazard

If the mouse is not near the keyboard you may be exposed to awkward postures, contact stress, or forceful hand exertions while using the device. Working in this position for prolonged periods places stress on the shoulder and arm and increases the likelihood that you will assume awkward wrist and shoulder postures, which may lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible Solutions

  • Position the mouse to allow you to maintain a straight, neutral wrist posture. This may involve adjustments in your chair, desk, keyboard tray, etc.
  • If the keyboard tray/surface is not large enough to accommodate both the keyboard and mouse, try one of the following to limit reaching:
    • Use a mouse platform positioned over the keyboard. This design allows the mouse to be used above the 10-key pad.
    • Install a mouse tray next to the keyboard tray.
  • Use a keyboard without a ten-key pad, which leaves more room for the pointer/mouse.
  • Install keyboard trays that are large enough to hold both the keyboard and mouse.
  • Use a mouse pad with a wrist/palm rest to promote neutral wrist posture.
  • Substitute keystrokes for mousing tasks, such as Ctrl+S to save, and Ctrl+P to print.
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