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Changes in upper extremity biomechanics across different mouse positions in a computer workstation.
Ergonomics 2006 Nov; 49(14):1456-1469
In order to determine differences in biomechanical risk factors across different mouse positions within computer workstations a repeated measures laboratory study was completed with 30 adults (15 females 15 males). The subjects performed mouse-intensive tasks during two experiments. One experiment examined three mouse positions: a standard mouse (SM) position with the mouse directly to the right of the keyboard; a central mouse (CM) position with the mouse between the keyboard and the body, positioned in the body's mid-sagittal plane; a high mouse (HM) position, which simulated using a keyboard drawer with the mouse on the primary work surface. The second experiment compared two mouse positions: the SM position and a more central position using a keyboard without a number keypad (NM). Electrogoniometers and inclinometers measured wrist and upper arm postures and surface electromyography measured muscle activity of four forearm muscles and three shoulder muscles. The CM mouse position was found to produce the most neutral upper extremity posture across all measures. The HM position produced the least neutral posture and resulted in the highest level of muscle activity. Compared to the SM position, the NM position reduced wrist extension slightly and promoted a more neutral shoulder posture. Little difference in muscle activity was observed between the SM and NM positions. In conclusion, of these alternative mouse positions, the HM position was the least desirable, whereas the CM position reduced overall awkward postures associated with mouse-intensive computer tasks.
Ergonomics; Biomechanics; Computers; Computer-software; Computer-equipment; Laboratory-testing; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Posture; Muscles; Author Keywords: Workstation design; Computer mouse; Upper extremity biomechanics
Issue of Publication
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division