Why You Should Consider Using This Funky-Looking Mouse

Your wrist will thank you

  • Mice force your wrist into a twisted position. 
  • Vertical mice are as comfortable as a handshake, only without the clammy, too-hard grip.
  • Don’t use a mouse? Try switching hands on your laptop trackpad.
A person using the Logitech Lift vertical mouse at a desk in an office.

Logitech

Mouse ergonomics are terrible. Finger twitches, awkward angles, and almost no hand support make mice a wrist-twisting nightmare. 

If you have wrist pain, the first step is to stop whatever you are doing. You’ll probably not be able to reverse the damage, but you can stop making it worse. And one way to do that, if you insist on using a mouse, is to go vertical. Vertical mice let you operate in a more natural handshake orientation rather than the pronated posture we’re used to. And Logitech’s new Lift makes this easier and cheaper than ever. 

"A vertical mouse limits the amount of pronation (palm down postures) when compared to a traditional mouse design. Pronation is considered to be an awkward posture and can be quite problematic for a lot of people. This mouse holds the hand in a 'handshake' position which is a neutral posture," certified professional ergonomist Darcie Jaremey told Lifewire via email. 

Hands Up

One reason a mouse is bad for your wrist is that it forces you to twist it. For the mouse designer, it makes sense to create a nice, neat, flat puck with a couple of buttons that fall under your fingers, but for human anatomy, vertical is much more comfortable. Just try it right now. Lay your hand palm down on the desk next to your computer or keyboard. Notice the strain along the outer edge of your forearm. And then notice how your elbow, shoulder, and chest feel right now. 

Now, twist your hand, so it’s vertical, thumb facing up. Much better, right? 

The Logitech Lift and MX Vertical Mice.

Logitech

A vertical mouse lets you keep your hand in this position. There will be a bigger positional transition from mouse to keyboard and back, and it will feel odd for a while, but a vertical mouse has an advantage over other ergonomic devices because you already know how to use it. It’s just a mouse on its side. The buttons still fall under your fingers, and the thumb buttons are easier to reach. 

"I used to have pain in the shoulder and a numb or tingling feeling in my hand," digital media consultant Simone Colavecchi told Lifewire via email. "I have been using a vertical mouse for two years, and it improved my condition big time."

Logitech’s new Lift is a less expensive ($70) alternative to its MX Vertical flagship ($100). It is also slightly smaller but holds your hand at the same 57-degree angle. Like almost all Logitech input peripherals, it can connect via Bluetooth or using Logitech’s proprietary Logi Bolt USB receiver, which plugs into a USB port and is—in my experience—way more reliable than Bluetooth. 

And unlike the Vertical MX, the Lift comes in black, pink, and white, and also in a left-handed version (black only). 

"A vertical mouse benefits these specific cases the most: Those who have some sort of discomfort/soft tissue compression between the wrist and work surface; Those who move their wrists to either side during mousing motions; Those who tend to grip a traditional mouse too hard, which can result in conditions such as tennis elbow; and those who have carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms," says Jaremey. 

Other Options

Someone using the Logitech Lift vertical mouse in a home office setting.
Logitech.

Maybe a mouse isn’t for you. If so, there are other options. One is to just switch hands. If your current mouse is symmetrical, you can just start using it in your other hand and (optionally) swap the buttons in your computer’s settings. This is also a great option for trackpad users. It will seem impossibly awkward at first, but you will get used to it.

I did exactly this years ago when I first got wrist pain. I keep a trackpad on my non-dominant side and a trackball on the right for when I need more speed or accuracy than a trackpad can manage. 

Yes, a trackball. There aren’t many good ones around, but if you have large hands, I recommend the Elecom Huge, which is—as its name hints—huge. It is also really comfy because you can drape your hand over its massive padded body. 

And don’t forget pens. Wacom and other manufacturers make styluses for use with computers. Designers and artists use them, but they're good for regular humans too. But whatever you do, if your wrist hurts, do anything else immediately.

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