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Input device ergonomics


Try to keep the mouse as close into the side of the keyboard as possible to avoid over-stretching to reach it. A mouse mat can help mark out a 'mousing area' and reduce the tendency to drift away from the keyboard. Keep your wrist straight and maintain a relaxed grip on the mouse, ensuring the movement of of the mouse comes from the whole arm, not just the wrist area.

Support the forearm on the desk and roll the whole arm into a comfortable, neutral position when not typing, and move the keyboard out of the way when not in use, so you can bring the mouse closer to you.

Switch to using the mouse with your left hand

You can have more than one mouse attached to the computer and we actively encourage using the left hand for mouse tasks, if possible. This is a tremendously useful skill to learn as it stops over-stretch to reach a mouse on the right hand side when you are using a standard long keyboard (with the number pad on the right). If you decide to use the mouse in the left hand, it will take about 10-14 days for the muscle memory to alter and for you to automatically reach for the mouse with the left hand.

Remember to switch the left and right hand mouse buttons over via the control panel in your operating system:

Start menu > Control Panel > Mouse > Mouse Properties: Buttons tab > Button Configuration


Position the keyboard in front of your body so that your arms can reach it without having to stretch forward. When typing, try to maintain a neutral position, keeping the wrists and hands as flat as possible, not tilting your wrists upwards.

Avoid leaning on the desk or on a wrist rest while you are typing. Do use the space in front of the keyboard to rest your hands in between periods of typing. Always 'float' the hands over the keys so that the movement is distributed throughout the entire arm, not focused in the wrist area.

Alternative Input Devices

The AT Specialist also has a wide variety of ergonomic input devices, to assist with ULD issues, that staff and students can access for evaluation purposes. Equipment available for evaluation includes short and ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mice and document slopes. To arrange a demonstration session please . 

Further information:

If you need further help, or for a free workstation assessment, .