What Is a Vertical Mouse and Is It the Best Ergonomic Mouse?
As the founder and CEO of a digital marketing and web design company, my job entails heavy usage of a computer. Whether it's for web design, SEO, or managing digital marketing campaigns, you'll typically find me seated in front of a screen for about 7 to 10 hours daily. Over time, this began to take a toll on my body, particularly on my wrist, neck, and trapezius muscles.
Having experienced first-hand the discomfort of recurring tension headaches and diagnosed migraines, I became extremely passionate about ergonomics and began to explore different solutions to make my office more ergonomic.
One of my discoveries along the way was the concept of a vertical mouse, also known as an upright mouse. I took the leap and purchased a Logitech MX Vertical Mouse back in September 2021 to try at my home office, which I use a couple times a week and served as a trial run. I enjoyed the initial benefits of the vertical mouse so much that I bought a second vertical mouse just two months later for my normal office where it’s used 7-10 hours per day.
So, what exactly is a vertical mouse, and why am I recommending you try one?
Table of Contents
What Is a Vertical Mouse?
A vertical mouse or upright mouse is a unique design twist on the traditional computer mouse that aligns your hand and forearm in a more natural position. Rather than laying your hand and wrist flat over the top of the mouse, as with conventional designs, a vertical mouse appears flipped on its side, typically at a 57-degree angle, encouraging you to hold the vertical mouse in a slightly angled handshake position.
The purpose behind the design of the vertical mouse is purely ergonomic. According to Logitech's ERGO Lab research, the vertical mouse is created with the aim to minimize muscle strain and reduce discomfort associated with long hours of mouse usage. Logitech's study showed that the ergonomic design of a vertical mouse can have a tremendous impact considering heavy computer users perform 3 million keystrokes and move their mouse up to 17 miles each year! If you’re moving your mouse that much and not optimizing your comfort, think about how much strain that can create!
My Personal Experience with Switching to an Ergonomic Vertical Mouse
As I previously mentioned, I switched to a Logitech MX Vertical Mouse in 2021 and have been very pleased with the results. Based on my experience, I believe there are three core pros of switching to a vertical mouse.
Pros of Using a Vertical Mouse
- Improved Ergonomics: Supported by third-party and Logitech studies and my own experience, the vertical mouse design reduces strain, not just on the wrist, but extending all the way to my neck and trapezius.
- Versatile for Work: The vertical mouse is just as efficient as a traditional mouse for all types of work I complete on a daily basis. Be it graphic design, web development, admin tasks, or even gaming, a vertical mouse does the job equally well, if not better. As a bonus, the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse model I use has a quick mouse speed adjust button that allows me to dynamically adjust the speed of the mouse movements on the fly. This gives me finite sensitivity for design work when I need it vs. my standard settings for speeding up the efficiency of administrative related tasks.
- Reduced Tension and Migraine Headaches: I noticed a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of my tension and migraine headaches after switching to a vertical mouse, among other ergonomic improvements in my office, which I attribute to the reduced strain on my body. I track my headache frequency, intensity, triggers, and other key metrics using the Migraine Buddy app.
However, like any product, there are also a few cons of a vertical mouse to consider.
Cons of a Using a Vertical Mouse
- Handedness Limitation: The design is not universal to both right and left-handed users. Meaning, unlike other mice I’ve used in the past, the mouse is not universal. However, Logitech does offer a left-handed version of the MX Lift Vertical Mouse which is similar in design to the MX Vertical Mouse.
- Adaptation Period: The vertical mouse has a completely different feel, and it might take some time to get used to. You will not likely enjoy the mouse on day one, or perhaps even month one. My suggestion is to try it out for at least 3 months before determining if it’s right for you.
- Size Matters: Pick a vertical mouse that fits your wrist size. A mouse that's too big or too small can counteract the ergonomic benefits.
- Price: Any truly ergonomic mice are going to come with a higher price tag. That said, given how frequently you are using the mouse, it’s well worth the cost in my opinion. Decreased pain and discomfort’s impact on productivity often can quickly outweigh the initial investment.
I have found the benefits of using a vertical mouse to outweigh the cons drastically. To everyone who spends considerable time in front of a computer, I highly recommend giving the vertical mouse a try, especially the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse or the Logitech Lift Vertical Mouse.
Remember, in the end, it's not just about working harder, but also working healthier and smarter. Give a vertical mouse a try, and I truly believe that your body will thank you!
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