Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even Fancy Ergonomic Chairs Might Not Protect Computer Users From Wrist Injuries, Cornell Study Finds

Date:
February 9, 2000
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
No matter how fancy an ergonomic office chair is, it's probably not going to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist injuries that result from working at a computer keyboard, according to a new Cornell University study.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- No matter how fancy an ergonomic office chair is, it's probably not going to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist injuries that result from working at a computer keyboard, according to a new Cornell University study.

"This study debunks the commonly held view that a good ergonomic chair alone will reduce the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome. We see no evidence for that," says Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell and director of Cornell's Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory. "We tested typists of all sizes in high-end ergonomic chairs that were adjusted for each participant according to manufacturer recommendations. Typists worked on a keyboard on a high-end, flat, adjustable keyboard tray that was also adjusted to them. None of the chairs made any difference in protecting the wrist angles of the typists."

Hedge's graduate student, Marisol Barrero, conducted the study for her master's thesis. She was assisted by Hedge and Timothy Muss, also one of Hedge's graduate students.

According to the manufacturers, all of the chairs' arms were designed for use during keyboarding. But an evaluation by the Cornell ergonomists found that typists in all of the chairs extended their wrists well beyond a neutral position, about twice the recommended extension angle to avoid injury.

The study, presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society conference in Houston, Texas, last October, was published in the proceedings for the society's 43rd annual meeting (Vol. 1, pp. 584-588).

Barrero, with assistance from Muss, selected 24 healthy college students of varied stature who were competent typists. The researchers analyzed the students' wrist angles using electrogoniometers (computerized three- dimensional "measuring tapes"). With a video-motion system, they analyzed arm angles and upper- body posture while the students were typing in four different chairs with armrests. The chairs, which list for between $900 and $1,200 each, were among the best available on the market in terms of price, features and manufacturer's reputation.

"The chairs were selected to represent four different, state-of-the-art combinations of arm adjustment features," says Hedge. Even though all of the chairs had instructions suggesting certain positions for keyboarding, none of the chairs tested proved to be effective in reducing the postural risk of wrist injury, based on Hedge's safety criteria.

"The inference is that the arms on these high-end ergonomic chairs will improve typing position, but according to our study there are no statistically significant differences among the chairs. No matter what the design of its arms were, no chair significantly reduced the risk of wrist injury from typing.

"The study highlights the need to consider the ergonomic design of a chair in the context of the other workstation furniture to achieve an optimal work posture for computer use," says Hedge.

Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release. Some might not be part of the Cornell University community, and Cornell has no control over their content or availability.

-- For information about the Cornell University Ergonomics Web:

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu

-- To download the HFES presentation: http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUHFdowncharm.html

-- 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. "Even Fancy Ergonomic Chairs Might Not Protect Computer Users From Wrist Injuries, Cornell Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000209074642.htm>.
Cornell University. (2000, February 9). Even Fancy Ergonomic Chairs Might Not Protect Computer Users From Wrist Injuries, Cornell Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000209074642.htm
Cornell University. "Even Fancy Ergonomic Chairs Might Not Protect Computer Users From Wrist Injuries, Cornell Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000209074642.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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