Switch Mouse Provides Unprecedented Ergonomic Comfort

Innovative Design Features Prevent Musculoskeletal Discomfort, Injury


Karen Brooking


New York — Research shows that mouse fit and versatility are important factors for user health and safety on the job. Traditional designs can promote awkward hand and wrist positions and cause discomfort or, in some cases, debilitating musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome. Humanscale’s Switch Mouse is designed to provide a custom fit, accommodate a natural wrist position, and ultimately, ensure mousing comfort for all users.

In 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that carpal tunnel syndrome was associated with the second longest time away from work—27 days—among major disabling diseases and illnesses. That same year, the Director of the Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, Professor Alan Hedge, found the average age of carpal tunnel onset had dropped to the mid-20s and even younger, compared to the late 30s to early 40s during the early 1990s.
The Cornell University Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group advises computer users to select a mouse that fits the shape of the entire hand. According to research by Cornell, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, and other sources, a large mouse encourages the user to employ larger arm muscles rather than small wrist muscles, which tire easily and are more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders. By navigating the mouse with the entire arm and using the elbow as a pivot point, the user is also more apt to maintain a straight, neutral wrist position. Cornell University researchers also warn against frequent use of scroll wheels, which can cause tendonitis and repetitive motion stress in the finger used to manipulate the wheel.
The Switch Mouse features new ergonomic design innovations, including a V-shaped base, which allows users to mouse at a natural 45° angle to minimize wrist pronation, and a navigation dish that reduces muscle activity while allowing users to scroll in four directions. Designed with a patented size adjustability feature, users can adjust the length of the mouse for a custom, comfortable fit. Additional features on the optical Switch Mouse include a symmetrical shape for left- or right-handed use, a built-in palm support to prevent contact stress at the wrist, and programmable buttons.
Developed by the Humanscale Design Studio—a team of more than a dozen international designers and engineers—the Switch Mouse has received numerous awards and accolades to date, including:
  • A 2008 iF Product Design Award from the International Forum Design
  • A Gold EID award in appliance DESIGN magazine’s 20th Annual Excellence in Design Competition
  • An Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Award from the Consumer Electronics Association.
  • A GOOD DESIGN® Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design
  • A Good Design Award from the Japan Industrial Promotion Organization
  • A Gold Innovation Award at the IIDEX/NeoCon Canada 2007 Exposition and Conference
  • A Gold Award in the 2007 Best of NeoCon competition
  • A Grand Prize in the Product Innovations Awards presented by Buildings magazine
  • And Best Ergonomic Solution at Mixology07, an award program sponsored by U.K.-based mix interiors magazine
The Switch Mouse is now available for purchase at a list price of $120.


For more information about Humanscale and the company’s full range of ergonomic solutions, visit or call 800-400-0625.
About Humanscale

Humanscale is the premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Achieving more with less, Humanscale’s product designs have been honored with more than 150 prestigious awards since 2007 and featured in various museums such as The Museum of Modern Art.

 For more information on Humanscale and our products, visit


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