Why The Mouse Causes RSI and How Keyboard Shortcuts Can Help

For several reasons, the mouse is the worst offender when it comes to computing injury. Repetitive Strain Injury occurs as a result of the cummulative effect of seemingly small actions carried out over a long period of time, eventually leading to unbearable strain on the muscles.

Many people develop RSI in their mouse hand. The mouse causes the extensors to tighten in order to hold the fingers slightly above the mouse buttons. The slight but constant tension causes a cummulative injury effect. The constant movement back and forth from the mouse to the keyboard can also lead to severe elbow pain. The position of dorsiflexion (holding the mouse with your wrist bent upwards) is another cause of RSI.

Bunny Martin, an RSI consultant, makes this analogy for how mousing effects the hand: “If you wiggled a piece of electrical wire up and down, over and over again, for seven hours a day, five days a week, it starts to fray and break”

Fortunately, most of us rely on the mouse more than is necessary. Much of what can be done with a mouse can also be done with keyboard “shortcuts” or “hotkeys”. The problem is, these shortcuts are not well known to many people, and require some getting used to. Good thing I compiled a list of shortcut guides to help you get started!

Does anybody have any more shortcuts I didn’t cover here?

Microsoft Shortcuts:

Windows
Outlook
Dynamics
Excel

Mac Shortcuts:

Top OSX Shortcuts

Gmail Shortcuts:

Printable Guide
More Gmail Shortcuts

Firefox Shortcuts:

Mouseless Firefox
Power Shortcuts
Firefox Shortcut Registry

Daily blog for shortcuts:Windows Keyboard Shortcut of the Day

Shortcut brochure to print for employees, coworkers, and friends: The Reluctant Mouser

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