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RR45 - Ergonomics of using a mouse or other non-keyboard input device

Presents the findings from a two-year study investigating health problems associated with the use of non-keyboard input devices (NKID). The research used a combination of methods to determine the extent to which different NKID are currently in use, how they are used and problems that result. Evidence was collected through a literature review; questionnaire survey of 128 IT and health and safety managers; workplace assessments involving interviews and observation with 45 users across 9 different companies; a questionnaire survey of 848 users (3500 questionnaires issued, 24% response rate); and laboratory work including an expert assessment of different devices, a laboratory trial comparing traditional and L- shaped desks with three different arm support conditions, and a case study investigating touch screen use. Stresses the importance of an ergonomics approach in risk reduction, a method that looks at the user-computer interaction as a whole, the aim being to fit the work to the person, rather than the person to the work. Recommends a systematic risk assessment for NKID with the following considerations: nature of the task, including software design; NKID design and operation; workstation configuration; working environment; work organisation; training; cleaning and maintenance; procedures for musculoskeletal health monitoring; specific needs of individual users (eg those with existing health problems).

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Updated 2010-03-19