Avoid a painful mouse arm (RSI)

Everyone has heard of the term 'mouse arm'. The term, and condition, have been popping up more and more since the popularization of the PC. Moreover, the condition regularly receives the necessary attention in both the media and scientific circles.


What is a mouse arm?

A mouse arm is another word for an injury to the wrist and forearm. It is possible for the pain to spread to the hand, the rest of the arm, the neck and the shoulders. What is popularly known as a mouse arm belongs to the category of the repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s), a collection of complaints that have similar causes.


The first symptoms of a mouse arm are often seemingly harmless. It starts with a sore forearm and some irritation at the wrist. You will experience cold fingers more often and perhaps a tingling or numb feeling in your hand and forearm. But if the load is not reduced, the pain can spread to the rest of your arm, your neck and your shoulders. The CM even warns of the chronic pain this can result in*.

Symptomen muisarm RSI - AXITO Software

What are the causes of a mouse arm?


The cause of a mouse arm is the prolonged and frequent use of mainly the computer mouse, and to a lesser extent the keyboard*. That's because you're constantly clicking that same mouse button with your index finger, a much more one-sided strain than spreading it over ten fingers.


The underlying cause of RSI cannot be formulated more clearly than the description on Wikipedia: “repeatedly performing the same, sometimes small movements that do not seem strenuous in themselves” over a long period of time.


But those are not the only factors that come into play. For example, Stefan IJmker states in his doctoral research* that psychosocial problems also contribute to complaints such as mouse arm. Stress is one of the main culprits. Working frenetically against the clock to meet a deadline is therefore certainly not beneficial.

PREVENTION: What can you do to prevent a mouse arm?


1. Pay attention to your posture

You may hear it more often, but sitting all day is not healthy. Sitting badly all day is a complete disaster. Good posture can help to avoid a mouse arm:

  • Sit upright and don't sag.

  • Place your computer screen at eye level.

  • Use a good office chair with armrests.

  • It is best to rest the elbows on the table top at an angle of 90°


2. Make sure you have enough variety and take a short break every now and then

Be sure to stand up right now and then. For example, you can make a cup of tea or coffee. If your environment allows it, it's also not a bad idea to stretch a little now and then.


3. Use your mouse less

If you take a moment to reflect on your posture while using both the mouse and keyboard, you'll no doubt notice that you always seem to be reaching for your mouse. Your keyboard is nicely centered to type as quickly as possible, but your mouse is often outside the sector of your body width. That is no natural posture.


On the other hand, with two hands on your keyboard, elbows (almost) pressed against the body, you will end up in a comfortable position.

Muisarm voorkomen - Ideale werkplek - AXITO-software

AXITO-software: together against RSI

From the very beginning, we at AXITO have been aware of the creeping danger of the mouse arm. That is why AXITO's software has been equipped with a handy SmartKEY-approach. You can perform any action in the program using a single keystroke. That means you basically don't even have to use your mouse!


In addition, you work up to 40% faster by using the SmartKEYs instead of your computer mouse. This way you save time and you work more efficiently. This in turn results in less stress at work and that also contributes to the prevention of a mouse arm.


So if you want to save time with your administration and stay sane, don't hesitate and ask for a demonstration. Leave the mouse behind and experience the benefits of our SmartKEY approach for yourself.


Bent u administratief bediende en heeft u zelf geen beslissingsrecht? Dan deel dit artikel gerust met uw werkgever.


Kryger AI, et al. Does computer use pose an occupational hazard for forearm pain; from the NUDATA study. Occup Environ Med. 2003 Nov;60(11):e14. https://oem.bmj.com/content/60/11/e14.long.

Ijmker, S. (2008). Risk factors for arm-wrist-hand and neck-shoulder symptoms among office workers: A longitudinal perspective. https://web.archive.org/.





Afbeelding 1: Olimane - CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons