Rollermouse vs. Standard Computer Mouse –Electromyographic and Subjective Assessment of the Usability in Applications with Graphical User Interfaces
Authors: Karsten Kluth, Erwin Keller
Abstract: The positioning of the hand-arm-shoulder system while computer-aided data entry, text processing or mouse operations – due to the kinematical chain’s own weight – represents an important risk factor for musculoskeletal complaints such as RSI syndrome as well as PC-work-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. A new system to control the mouse cursor by a rollerbar promised beneficial support and a more comfortable working with a standard keyboard. 24 subjects – classified by gender and age – were part of standardized working tests to proof the ergonomic quality of the rollerbar mouse. The hypothetically expected relief of the hand-arm-shoulder muscles was measured with electromyographic methods. Subjective assessments based on the work experiences were obtained in order to enhance the evaluating of the product’s ergonomic quality. The rollerbar system was rated more favorably than the standard mouse. There are some differences along age and gender lines with regard to the strength of preference, but the rollerbar was the unequivocally preferred input device. Unfortunately, the results of the measurements do not support as strong an endorsement for either of the two products. The reason is that the level of physical strain is simply not high enough. But the conclusion of establishing the rollerbar mouse as an ergonomically promised product could be confirmed.
Keywords: Computer Input Device, Electromyography, Subjective Assessment, Physiological Responses, Muscular Strain, Hand-Arm-Shoulder System
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