Effects of keyboard tray geometry on upper body posture and comfort

  • Hedge A
  • Morimoto S
  • Mccrobie D
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Abstract

The effects of a downward-tilting (DT) keyboard tray on wrist posture, seated posture and self-assessed musculoskeletal discomfort were investigated in a field experiment. Thirty-eight professional office workers were studied. A pretest assessed how they typed using either a conventional keyboard on a desk or on an articulating keyboard tray, and with or without wrist rests. Workers were randomly allocated to a control (n = 15) or test group (n = 23) that used their existing keyboard in a DT system. A post-test was conducted 3 weeks later. Results showed no significant changes in wrist posture, seated posture or reports of musculoskeletal discomfort for the control group, and approximately 50% of typing wrist movements put the hand in a neutral zone. There were significant improvements in wrist posture, seated posture and upper body musculoskeletal discomfort for the test group using the DT system. Over 80% of typing wrist movements put the hand into a neutral zone with the DT arrangement. Reactions to using a conventional keyboard on a DT system were positive.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Keyboard
  • Keyboard tray
  • Musculoskeletal discomfort
  • Posture

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Authors

  • Alan Hedge

  • Singe Morimoto

  • Daniel Mccrobie

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