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Ergonomics of using a mouse or other non-keyboard input device

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posted on 2007-01-04, 16:29 authored by Victoria Woods, Sarah Hastings, Peter Buckle, Roger Haslam
Ten years ago, when the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (HSE, 1992) were drafted, the majority of computer interaction occurred with text driven interfaces, using a keyboard. It is not surprising then that the guidance accompanying the DSE Regulations included virtually no mention of the computer mouse or other non-keyboard input devices (NKID). In the intervening period, graphical user interfaces, incorporating ‘windows, icons and pull down menus’ (WIMPS), with a heavy reliance on pointing devices such as the mouse, have transformed user computer interaction. Accompanying this, however, have been increasing anecdotal reports of musculoskeletal health problems affecting NKID users. While the performance aspects of NKID (e.g. accuracy and speed) have been the subject of detailed research, the possible implications for user health have received comparatively little attention. The research presented in this report was commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive to improve understanding of the nature and extent of NKID health problems. This investigation, together with another project examining mobile computing (Heasman et. al., 2000), was intended to contribute to a planned review and updating of the DSE Regulations and accompanying guidance.



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WOODS, V. et al, 2002. Ergonomics of using a mouse or other non-keyboard input device. HSE research report 045. London : Health and Safety Executive


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This document is also available electronically at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr045.pdf



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