New Kind of Mice Invade the Workplace

No, it’s not another HRSBT creature article about dogs, geese, and sheep at work. These crazy mice won’t eat your stash of goodies in the bottom drawer. And no, you don’t need to ask Facilities if you can bring in your cat.

These workplace-worthy mice don’t cause problems—they solve them; ergonomic problems, that is. Well… they do have an Ivy League pedigree!

Our sister publication California Employer Daily reports that fertile minds at the Cornell [University] Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group have created the latest ergonomics sensation—a vibrating computer mouse.

The vibrating mouse does its shake, rattle, and roll routine several times an hour as a reminder to take your hand off it and rest it before going back to clicking and dragging. That’'s because keeping your hand in a mouse-hold hour after hour is thought to contribute to carpal tunnel and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Researchers issue this caveat about the vibrating mouse: Some users simply lift their hands above the device, suspending their palms in mid-air until the motion stops. “This position is potentially more detrimental because of the increase in static muscle activity required to hover the hand,” states a worker from Cornell. Instead, the hand should be momentarily rested on a flat surface.

The whole hovering hand issue can be avoided by using another ergonomic creation—for your foot! The Bili “Foot Mouse” puts the mouse on the floor (where mice belong). It’s in the form of a slipper, and moving your dominant foot operates the computer cursor. Clicking is done with a pedal by your other foot.

But if these ergonomic creations leave you cold, you can still get a new mouse that’s hot (literally). The innovators that brought you the electric blanket that plugs into your USB port have also created a plug-in mouse that heats up and keeps your hand warm. It costs around $25, is ergonomically shaped, and even comes in pink. But what do you do to keep the other hand warm?

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