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Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this document is only of a general nature and nothing included here or anywhere else on this site should be taken as specific medical advice or construed as a claim of any kind. You should always seek advice from a health professional.

FAQ Index
1 Does the MouseBean® Hand Rest work with any input device?
2 Do I need to use the coupling and slider?
3 What's the best way to fit the coupling?
4 What type of mousepad works best?
5 Should I use MouseBean® Hand Rests with a keyboard?
6 What else can the MouseBean® Hand Rest be used for?
7 What does the term RSI mean?
8 Is the MouseBean® Hand Rest washable?
9 Apart from the new colours, what has been changed on the new model?
10 Help! Somebody pulled my socket off!
11 Where can I get a replacement coupling socket?
12 Can I use another adhesive to stick the socket to the mouse?

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 - Does the MouseBean® Hand Rest work with any input device?

The current coupling is designed to work fine with the majority of 'traditional' mice commonly shipped with most computers. It won't connect properly if you have a mouse that is unusually pointed or very long and thin. It does work fine with the MS Intellimouse Explorer and opticals but you may need to trim a little off the bottom edge of the socket to prevent it touching the mousepad. Providing the mouse is not too long, you should still be able to use the hand rest without the coupling. If your mouse has an overhang at the rear then you can turn the coupling socket over so that it hinges at the top. This will allow the slider to move freely.

Apple Optical
The MouseBean® Hand Rest works well with the clear Apple optical mouse - the socket fits perfectly onto the curved rear surface. However, because the whole of the top is a button, we have found that users with exceptionally long hands tend to rest their fingers well back from where the button would normally be and they may feel that the slider is just a little too short and prefer to leave it uncoupled.

Mouse safety - always seek urgent advice
If you encounter any problems using a mouse, you should consult an ergonomist or other specialist health professional as soon as possible. They may advise changing your mouse for a different design or altering the workstation or seating. Whatever device you use, it is important to ensure that you adopt and maintain a good posture with the wrist in a neutral position and your elbow at the same height as your input device. All your muscles should be relaxed and your fingers should not strain to press the buttons or turn trackballs and wheels. It is worth mentioning that we have come across users who have tried various designs of trackball controls but, after experiencing joint pain in the finger or thumb used to operate the trackball, have reverted to a simple mouse and a MouseBean® Hand Rest. Even though some alternative input devices feature an extended convex support for the palm, this can still have negative effects - possibly increasing pressure in the carpal tunnel and severely restricting fine finger movement, arguably the cause of more stress and related problems in the shoulder and neck.

FAQ Index

 

2 - Do I need to use the coupling and slider?

The coupling socket and slider are essential for certain types of mouse user. Various techniques were tried during product development to overcome some basic usability issues whilst maintaining the overall function and simple, compact shape of the bean. The main issue was that of keeping the device on the mousepad (and off the floor) without a coupling of some kind. The coupling also needed to be rigid enough to stop the device from turning on the mousepad (hence the rigid slider) and flexible enough to allow it to roll over the rear of the mousepad or the edge of the table (hence the pivoted coupling). Furthermore, when you move the mouse with the finger tips, the coupling should not drag and certainly not spring back, moving the screen pointer from where you left it. Some users manage well without the coupling (the slider locks neatly away when not needed); some cannot work without it and others are continually coupling and uncoupling it to stop it getting stolen!

FAQ Index

 

3 - What's the best way to fit the coupling socket?

Click here for detailed (printable) instructions (Adobe Acrobat PDF 171k)

If you use the supplied coupling, it must be positioned at the correct height on the mouse. The slider must move freely in and out, especially when you move the mouse with your fingers and the heel of your hand stays fixed on the hand rest.

To get the maximum comfort and benefit from the MouseBean® Hand Rest, follow these simple steps to ensure you fit the coupling in the correct position.

How to Fit the Coupling to the Mouse

  1. Clean the rear of the mouse with a screen wipe or detergent and let it dry. The surface must be clean and dry for maximum adhesion.
  2. Choose a flat, level surface.
  3. Pull the slider out from the hand rest and position it centrally behind the mouse.
  4. At the point where the end of the slider touches the mouse, draw a small pencil mark. This should be about 9mm above the surface of the mouse pad (the mouse may tend to lift if the socket is too low).
  5. Taking care not to lift the adhesive tape, remove the release papers.
  6. Carefully align the socket hole over the pencil mark and press lightly into position.
  7. Push the end of the slider into the socket and test the hand rest. If the location looks and feels correct, press both sides of the coupling hard against the mouse to stick the tape firmly in position. (The adhesive will not reach full strength for about 24 hours so it may be possible to carefully reposition it.)

Removing the MouseBean® Hand Rest from the Coupling

  1. Gently move the hand rest away from the mouse so that the slider is fully extended.
  2. Gently lift and peel one corner of the socket away from the slider with your left thumb (or right thumb if you are left-handed) and withdraw the hand rest.
  3. For protection, the slider can be pushed all the way in until it clicks.

If your coupling comes unstuck or you need a replacement when you change your mouse see here.

FAQ Index

 

4 - What type of mousepad works best?

The slippery bottom of the MouseBean® Hand Rest seems to slide better on a hard plastic-topped mat than on a fabric one. It also works well on most hard desk surfaces. If the mousing surface is not clean, you may notice slight surface abrasion on the base of the hand rest but this should not affect the performance and can easily be removed with a little metal polish.

TIP: you will find it easier to keep both mouse and hand rest on the mousepad if you turn your mat into portrait rather than landscape orientation.

Gaming Pads
We have done some tests with a few of the leading gaming pads and found the friction between the surfaces to be almost negligble, allowing for rapid and effortless motion. Whilst this is a fantastic bonus for game players, it may not be ideal for detailed mouse movements since the heel of the hand is probably better kept anchored so that the fingers can make very fine movements without having to brace the upper arm. A good solution for occasional detailed work is to slide the MouseBean® Hand Rest off the front edge of the mousepad and rest it on the surface of the desk. On balance, go for a larger model (front to back) but consider how much space you have available on your work surface (to keep your mousing hand close to your keyboard). Some of these pads tend to be quite thick (around 8mm) and there is no doubt that using one with a MouseBean® Hand Rest greatly reduces the wrist extension problem that such a thick pad may accentuate.

The Speed-Pad™ mousepad from Compad in Germany is much thinner (4mm) and this allows the MouseBean® Hand Rest to ride over the edge with ease. Since the Speed-Pad™ is injection moulded (as opposed to being routed from extruded sheet) the quality and finish are first class. The surface pattern is similar to grained leather and is very well defined with no hint of the mouse ball slipping. It is also big enough to allow the use of two mice if you have to manage two computers. The Speed-Pad™ mousepad is the best gaming mousepad we have tested. Visit the Compad website

Gaming pads are so hard-wearing you will probably never need to buy another pad. Don't let the comparatively high prices put you off the investment.

FAQ Index

 

5 - Should I use MouseBean® Hand Rests with a keyboard?

There is nothing to stop you but commonly-circulated opinion (often based on the experiences of typists using traditional mechanical typewriters) is that the hands and wrists should be kept straight and level when using a keyboard. This is confusing when you consider that there are dozens of keyboard wrist rests on the market as well as some keyboards with built-in rests. Some responsible manufacturers include basic advice and some even issue a warning that they are only to be used when taking a short break from actually hitting the keys. Obviously it could harm your wrists if you were to rest them on the sharp edge of a desk or keyboard, so virtually any wrist rest (even quite hard ones) will offer some protection during a rest break. The danger is that it is not obvious that continuous pressure on the underside of a typist's wrists can cause nerve damage and other injuries, even when the wrist rest is quite soft.

Another common condition is caused when you rest your chin in your hand and put too much pressure on your elbow. This is known to cause ulnar nerve entrapment.

An experienced typist knows not to sit in a chair set at the wrong height for the keyboard but things are a little more complicated when the emphasis is on using a mouse. For instance, a computer user may be browsing the web for very long periods and hardly ever touch the keyboard. Under these circumstances, the posture is often badly controlled and can result in continuous pressure on the wrist and the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. The gap between the pads of the MouseBean® Hand Rest is designed to reduce pressure in this sensitive area and the height of the device also corrects the unfavourable wrist angle created when the elbow is not at the same level as the mouse. Although it is a matter of personal preference, until such time as more research has been conducted into the causes of keyboard-related injuries, the widely-held advice is to adjust your workstation and correct your posture when using the keyboard and not rest your hands or wrists on anything during typing.

FAQ Index

 

6 - What else can the MouseBean® Hand Rest be used for?

Notebook computer users who use a built-in touchpad will find the MouseBean® Hand Rest useful to raise and support the heel of the hand in front of the computer. This reduces severe hyper-extension of the wrist and could also help to reduce upper limb strain. The hand rest slider locks neatly out of the way and is small enough to slip into a shirt pocket or notebook case. For a variety of reasons, notebook computers are not ideally suited to full-time use - always seek the advice of a health professional with regard to maintaining good posture and avoiding neck, back and other injuries.

Many artists will find it useful for supporting the edge of the hand when sketching. This allows you to draw curves with ease and the low friction base reduces drag and increases accuracy. It also keeps your hands above the surface of the material which prevents soiling.

We recently heard of a customer who uses a MouseBean® Hand Rest in her job at a firm that processes data for the health service. She finds it alleviates pressure when thumbing through piles of prescriptions. This could also apply to cashiers counting bank notes.

FAQ Index

 

7 - What does the term RSI mean?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a general term for a variety of conditions, many of which are painful and possibly disabling, usually in or near the wrist. RSI conditions are often associated with occupations involving prolonged or repeated manipulation of the hand or wrist, not just computer users. Another term for similar conditions is called Work-Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD). More detailed information on RSI/WRULD

FAQ Index

 

8 - Is the MouseBean® Hand Rest washable?

Yes, the whole device is washable (in fact, we have put them through several dishwasher cycles and even boiled them in a pan of water) but the pads are easily removable so you can quickly wash them with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry before reinserting. If you are sensitive to particular soaps, detergents or other solvents then please ensure you have removed all traces before using the pads against your skin.

If you damage the pads (very unlikely), lose them, or just fancy a change of colour, replacement pads and couplings are available from our online store.

FAQ Index

 

9 - Apart from the new colours, what has been changed on the new model?

Better Pads
The soft pads now have much smaller bumps which are a lot more comfortable for extended use. Hands can get sticky in hot weather and the new surface design has been found to be a good compromise between comfort and grip.

Improved Slider
The end of the slider has been modified to incorporate a four-sided barb that stays connected to the socket, even if you are heavy-handed. It is also much easier to insert and simple to remove (peel one corner of the socket before withdrawing the slider).

Close-Coupling
The hand rest now slides even closer to the mouse and can even be locked in this position for users who move the mouse with their whole hand rather than their fingers.

Stronger Adhesive
The double-sided adhesive tape used to hold the socket to the mouse has been greatly improved. The mouse should still be cleaned before application but the new tape is much stronger.

FAQ Index

 

10 - Help! Somebody pulled my socket off!

You may get pestered by colleagues wanting to 'borrow' your MouseBean® Hand Rest. If you are lucky enough to ever see it again, you will probably find that the tape no longer sticks. Unfortunately, the adhesive tape is not designed to be removed and replaced after it has cured (about 24 hours). If you have been hit by a 'bean-thief, the next two items should help.

FAQ Index

 

11 - Where can I get a replacement coupling socket?

If your coupling comes unstuck or you need a replacement when you change your mouse, your dealer should be able to supply you with a free replacement. Simply send a stamped, self-addressed envelope marked 'Spare Coupling' and indicate a preferred colour. We are happy to help if you have any problems. Our address is on the page.

FAQ Index

 

12 - Can I use another adhesive to stick the socket to the mouse?

The adhesive tape supplied with the socket should be good enough to give a strong bond after about 24 hours providing it is never removed or repositioned. However, the tape is not meant to be completely permanent since it may need to be removed for a variety of reasons such as servicing the mouse. To create a more permanent bond, you will find that about five or six tiny drops of superglue on each flap will work extremely well. Ensure the surfaces are clean and dry before proceeding. We recommend using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) to clean the surfaces of the mouse and socket. Please ensure that the glue has fully dried before using the mouse. Always refer to the manufacturer's safety precautions when using any adhesive product.

FAQ Index

 


We value your feedback and will always try to respond promptly to any enquiries or suggestions you may have about the product or its application. In particular, we welcome suggestions for new colour combinations.
Feel free to .

The MouseBean® Hand Rest is constantly being improved and we reserve the right to vary the design and specification without notice.

National Press

Daily Telegraph
"Overuse of the fingers with a bent wrist can lead to inflammation of the protective tendon sheath and the risk of repetitive strain injury. Another potential risk is carpal tunnel syndrome, which triggers painful tingling in three of four fingers – usually at night. This nifty gadget worked first time for me and I became an instant fan; it moves easily about the mousemat and I am glad my niggling pain did not have time to get worse."

Testimonials

Mr Gibson of Peterborough says:
"I decided to order one for each of my family. We all use PCs for long periods and I am suffering from RSI/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is beginning to affect how long I can use a PC. So, I am very pleased to say that your product has given me a new lease of life with little or no sign of the pain I was experiencing, even after long periods of use. Hopefully it will prevent my children having any problems at all. So thanks; brilliant product; well done!"

Tips for Safer Working

Take regular breaks. Short breaks, even for a few seconds, can help to reduce the risk of some types of cumulative trauma. If you work under pressure and find it hard to remember to take a break, then download and install a simple Rest Break Timer (see our links page). You'll soon grow to enjoy a quick stretch every so often and the minor interruption is a very small price to pay for feeling more relaxed.

Sit Properly. Get yourself a good chair and make sure it is properly adjusted to suit your body height and desk height. Your elbows should be about level with the desk and you should have plenty of leg room to avoid static postures.

We're Listening

Please with your experiences. We are always interested to hear your views on computer-related problems, especially in the hand, wrist and arm.

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Comments or Technical Problems -
All material is Copyright © MouseBean Ltd 2002/2003. All rights reserved worldwide.
MouseBean is a registered trade mark of J Crocker used under licence by MouseBean Ltd.
The MouseBean® Hand Rest is a Registered Design (2104424). UK and International Patents Pending.