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June 01, 2017

Three ways to keep your mouse from murdering your wrist

I once knew a professional gamer. He was 18 and had been offered contracts by several professional teams offering him a salary to play with them.

Then he developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The thousands of hours he’d spent making flick shots and quick 180 degree turns wrecked his opponents, but also wrecked his wrist at the same time. Talk about rekt.

He never did sign one of those contracts. And not just because he had trouble writing with a pen. He’s not alone in having wrist/hand injuries end his e-Sports career. RSI and Carpal Tunnel have forced pro-gamers to retire at the ripe old age of 22.

It doesn’t just affect gamers. Years of working at a computer with improper mousing and typing can do the same damage to your wrists and hands.

Fortunately, most types of RSI or CTS injuries aren't permanent. Here are three methods to keep those pesky injuries away.

Mousing Posture 

Keep your hands and wrists level and in a neutral position when mousing and typing. Here’s a handy chart:

Don’t bend your wrists towards your little finger or thumb, or with it bent up or down. Doing so puts additional strain on your tendons and sheaths, increasing your risk of RSI.

The use of a wrist rest to support your wrists while using your computer goes a long way towards keeping it in a healthy position.

Be sure to take breaks every 20 to 45 minutes. Short, regular breaks allow your muscles to relax and avoid getting stiff and tense. Get a glass of water or just get up and stretch between every LoL match or after a couple of rounds in Overwatch.

Use your arm

There’s a reason why most professional gamers play at less than 1600 DPI, and use their arms to make large turns as well as aim when gaming.

Using your arm is considered the healthier way to play. Arm aiming also makes tracking targets with your mouse more precise as it’s easier to build up muscle memory with a larger group of muscles. You will still need to use your wrist for flick shots and small, fine movements, but it’s less stressful on your wrist than having to use it all the time.

This is why many gamers use extra-large mouse mats like these to give themselves the extra space for mousing. You want to get an edge, not hit it.

Use a Vertical Mouse

No, that’s not a sci-fi weapon from the future. Vertical mice are a fresh, ergonomic take on mouse design.

Standard mice force your wrist into a palms-down position that causes your shoulders to rotate into an uncomfortable, tense posture. The palms-down position also compresses the median nerve – a major nerve in your hands and wrists. Prolonged pressure on the median nerve is a cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Vertical mice allow you to use the mouse in a more natural, relaxed position. Even if most are not gaming-ready yet, switching to a vertical mouse for everyday computing tasks can give your wrists a break after intense gaming sessions.

Ready to make a change? Check out our body-friendly computer peripherals here!