Problem. Studies have linked individuals with a high Body Mass Index as more susceptible to developing Repetitive Motion Injury. Newly designed adjustable ergonomic keyboards have been found to be useful for the reduction of Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders. Perceived or actual reduction in productivity can cause users to reject the idea of using an alternative keyboard.
Method. Twenty-six participants participated in a field study comparing a standard vs. adjustable keyboard. Fourteen subjects were under 30 BMI, whereas twelve were over 30 BMI. Four typing tests were administered over a six week period. Weeks 1-3, subjects used a standard keyboard and weeks 4-6 an adjustable keyboard. Acceptance and Discomfort Surveys were administered throughout the study.
Results & Conclusions. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant improvement or decline in performance on all but one of the four typing tests. Bodypart Discomfort surveys showed statistical, yet not practical, reduction in discomfort ratings amongst the High BMI group for the low back, upper back and wrist. In comparing the High vs. Low BMI groups the only significant findings were related to Bodypart Discomfort for the hand mid and low back and lacked practical significance. Acceptance data showed a preference to the adjustable keyboard for both BMI groups but to a greater degree amongst High BMI subjects.
|Advisor:||Congleton, Jerome J.|
|Commitee:||Moore, J. Steven, Zheng, Qi|
|School:||The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center|
|Department:||Environment & Occupational|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 48/02M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Adjustable angle, Body mass index, Ergonomic discomfort, Keyboard performance, Repetitive motion injury, Split keyboards|
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