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Ergonomic Mouse: A Look at the 3M Renaissance Vertical Mouse

written by: Cindy Marcelle•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/2/2008

Does your hand and wrist hurt after a long day at the computer? 3M has designed an ergonomic mouse that relieves the pressure associated with more common mice, thus allowing your hand to rest naturally.

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    Mice have become an indispensable computer accessory, and with 85% of office workers using a computer 5 or more hours per weekday,* work related injuries such as musculoskeletal disorder, repetitive stress injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome account for 50% of office work-related injuries, the mouse is quickly becoming more painful than helpful. (Mi, 2005)

    Here’s a quick quiz to see if an ergonomic mouse is right for you:

    · Do you use a computer mouse for long periods of time on a daily basis?

    · Do you feel discomfort in your arm, wrist, hand, or fingers?

    · Do you suffer any ailments caused by moving a mouse?

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, an ergonomic mouse could be the solution to your pain.

    Na Mi, from the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University, identifies the following 8 problems associated with the traditional computer mouse: arm and wrist movement, device placement, small muscle tendon movement, joint position, small exertions, muscle tension, body posture, and localized pressure, and concludes that an ergonomically designed mouse would include minimal hand and wrist movement and a relaxed, natural wrist and hand position. (2005)

    But most office workers don’t know their problems are a result of poor design. Out of 115 people surveyed*, 61.74% felt moderate to sever discomfort after long periods of mouse use, and a surprising 48.67% didn’t think this pain was caused by repetitive mouse use.

    In an effort to make the mouse more compatible with the human hand, 3M has designed the ergonomically correct Renaissance Vertical Mouse. Ergonomics, the latest in exterior mouse design, “focuses on optimizing the interface between human beings, the designed object, and environments they interact with. (Mi, p. 5, 2005)” The goal: to allow users to move their hand in a natural and comfortable position so the risk of arm, hand, and wrist injuries is minimal.

    3M inventors Hung-ying Shih and Paul Ying-fung Wu developed this revolutionary optical sensing unit for effecting X-Y movement of the on-screen cursor and patented it in 2003 (#6945198). Their design looks like a joystick and they provided users with a computer pointing device that function[ed] electronically as a mouse with a preferred shape that looks like the top of an upright hawk, permitting ergonomic holding by the whole palm in a naturally upright position during operation, including moving the cursor, turning the scroll wheel, and clicking the buttons. (Shih, Wu, 2003)

    The 3M Renaissance Vertical Mouse offers full support for the inner and bottom palm while giving full support to the fingers, allowing them to curve into a naturally relaxed position, and it is this ingenuity that makes the 3M Ergonomic mouse the most comfortable mouse on the market.


    Mi, Na. An Ergonomic Mouse. The College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University. August 2005. – “3M Ergonomic Mouse #6954918 – 4/11/03”