Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Larger, Adjustable Computer Mouse Could Reduce Risk Of Wrist Injury, Cornell Study Finds

Date:
December 23, 1999
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
An oversized, flatter and adjustable computer mouse with built-in palm support could lower the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist injuries, according to a new study by Cornell University ergonomists.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- An oversized, flatter and adjustable computer mouse with built-in palm support could lower the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist injuries, according to a new study by Cornell University ergonomists.

The study found that the new mouse allows computer users to keep twice as many of their wrist movements in a neutral, low-risk zone compared with a traditional, small mouse.

"More than half of all hand movements with the oversized, flatter mouse stay in a neutral zone, compared with only one-quarter of the movements with a traditional mouse," says Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell and director of Cornell's Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory. These findings were consistent for tall, average and small men and women.

Assisted by graduate students Timothy M. Muss and Marisol Barrero, Hedge analyzed the wrist extension and hand movements of 24 men and women performing mouse tasks involving cursor position and scrolling. Subjects wore a right-hand instrumented glove to measure wrist posture; the researchers also analyzed task performance, and the subjects rated the comfort and usability of the larger devices. The keyboard and mouse were both placed on a flat keyboard tray beneath desk height; the mouse surface was located approximately at seated elbow height.

The ergonomists found significant differences between the large and small mouse designs for wrist extension; on average, the larger mouse reduced wrist extension by an average of more than eight degrees.

"Use of a computer mouse is not necessarily benign. Evidence is mounting that computer mouse use is associated with a number of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders," says Hedge. He points out that in 1988 not a single workers' compensation claim form in the United States reflected computer-related cumulative trauma disorders of the upper extremity associated with mouse use. By 1993, the number had soared to 325,000. Of those, 51 percent involved wrist injury.

"Our data suggests that an oversized, flatter mouse with palm support can be effective in encouraging users to perform more of their mouse work with the hand in a neutral posture," Hedge says.

Although both mouse designs were contoured to improve neutral wrist posture, the larger mouse was flatter as well as adjustable, discouraging small hand movements, such as flicking of the wrist, which could exacerbate injury risks, Hedge says. This mouse's large movable sleeve also allowed the user to adjust to different hand sizes and served as a built-in wrist support.

Hedge points out that although the time it took users to perform the tasks was 19 percent longer with the larger mouse, this was a short-term test and users were unfamiliar with the design and the difference would probably diminish with more practice.

"Future studies should look at longer term use and how the mouse affects the whole arm and upper body posture," Hedge says. "Also, previous research suggests that the mouse location in our study, to the right of the keyboard, was not optimal. We think we would see even stronger results if the larger, flatter mouse were on a mouse tray 20 percent above seated elbow height and closer to the midline of the body."

The study has been published as Cornell Human Factors Laboratory Technical Report RP7992 and can be accessed on the World Wide Web at http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUHFdownmouse.html.

Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release.

-- For information about the Cornell University Ergonomics Web:

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu.

-- For information on the Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Laboratory:

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUErgoHP2.html.

-- For information on the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis:

http://dea.human.cornell.edu/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Larger, Adjustable Computer Mouse Could Reduce Risk Of Wrist Injury, Cornell Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991223010717.htm>.
Cornell University. (1999, December 23). Larger, Adjustable Computer Mouse Could Reduce Risk Of Wrist Injury, Cornell Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991223010717.htm
Cornell University. "Larger, Adjustable Computer Mouse Could Reduce Risk Of Wrist Injury, Cornell Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991223010717.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins