The term “mouse miles” is used to describe the distance traveled by a mouse cursor on the screen. For frequent computer users, mouse miles can rack up quite quickly, and some people like to install programs to keep track of their mouse miles. In addition to being an interesting curiosity, these programs can also be used as warning signals, indicating that it is time to clean a mouse to ensure that it is working effectively and efficiently.
Some people also use “mouse miles” as slang term to describe a lot of time spent on a computer. Gamers especially can clock a lot of mouse miles as they use their computers, as can computer professionals. In addition to describing the amount of time spent on a computer, the term can also be used to refer to a particular mouse, as in “that mouse has a lot of miles on it.”
Several software companies produce shareware or freeware programs which track mouse miles. Some of these programs have advanced options which allow users to keep statistics. Users can compare their mouse miles to real-world distances, such as the height of the Eiffel Tower or the distance between two locations, and they can also compare their mouse miles to other users.
Some people track mouse miles on particular websites, with some web designers using mouse miles as a tool to determine how easy it is to navigate a site, and to look at how much time people spend on a site. In addition to mouse miles, people can also look at heatmaps, which map the areas of the screen in which the mouse spends time. The more time a mouse spends in a particular region of the screen, the brighter the signature on the heatmap will be.
It can be interesting to look at your mouse miles if you are simply curious about how much time you spend computing. Mouse miles can also be used to look at how much a workout your hand is getting; many people notice a correlation between high mouse miles and hand pain, for example, and they may use mouse miles as indicator to take a brief break. You can also program a mouse miles utility to alert you to clean your mouse or replace components as they wear out, and to track the number of miles you get out of a single mouse.