Quantitative Assessment of Computer Inputs and Musculoskeletal Complaints among Three Workgroups
Authors: Hsieh-Ching Chena, Yu-Wen Chena, Yung-Ping Liub, Yi-Tsong Pan
Abstract: Musculoskeletal disorders associated with computer use are closely related to the level of computer exposure. Various studies have been conducted for recording and evaluating long-term use of mouse and keyboard in computer workers. However, keyboard exposure is distributed over two hands and different fingers and mouse workload is mainly borne by the dominant hand which is with significantly higher musculoskeletal risk. This study utilizes an external logger for onsite measurements of computer activities in three professional groups over 6 months. All subjects include twelve university administrators, eight computer-aided design (CAD) draftsmen, and eight software programmers. Individual participant’s typing pattern was determined by a novel hardware and software developed in this study to separate keyboarding workload in the dominant hand from that in the nondominant hand. Each participant’s daily computer exposures, number of keystroke typing and mouse clicking, in one’s dominant and nondominant hand were then predicted by individual typing pattern and the logged computer activities. Estimated computer exposures of participants’ dominant and nondominant hand were then correlated with the musculoskeletal complaints collected by a questionnaire of body part discomfort rating. Regression analysis show participants’ average daily computer exposure was only moderately correlated with their hand discomfort. Research finding suggests computer associated discomfort may be affected by factors other than keyboard and mouse exposures.
Keywords: CTDs, computer exposure, musculoskeletal complaint, pattern of keyboarding
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