Normally at the beginning of the year I do a lot of blogs about the newest, latest and greatest office products to hit the market and trust me, I will do that this year also. But today I'm writing about an item that's been around over 10 years already - the 3M Ergonomic Mouse.
I like unique things. I have programmable trackball mice at home and at work and I program the buttons backwards (the normal left click button is my right click and vice versa). It drives my coworkers crazy if they use my computer for something, but it feels natural to me. (No, I am not left-handed.) I saw this 3M mouse when it was first introduced to the market and I thought it was the coolest thing. It'll probably take you about a week to get used to it though.
As you can see, it is designed like a joystick. When you use a traditional mouse, you pronate your forearm and wrist and typically compress the wrist and carpal tunnel area against the desk surface. This action can result in repetitive stress injuries, pain and discomfort.
With the 3M Ergonomic Mouse, your arm is resting on its side. It works like a regular optical mouse - except that your hand grips the handle and rests on the base, and you use your thumb to left and right click. The vertical grip design keeps your hand and wrist at a neutral angle. There's a third button on the handle that allows scrolling in many programs as well. It operates with 2 AAA batteries, which are included. And it's wireless!
It's one downfall is that it's a bit pricey, but if you compare that to the medical costs you may incur from carpal tunnel syndrome, it doesn't seem that bad. I give it 4 paperclips!