Variation in upper limb posture and movement during word processing with and without mouse use

Ergonomics. 1994 Jul;37(7):1261-7. doi: 10.1080/00140139408964904.


Work postures and movements of the upper limb were analysed for 12 'mouse' operators and 12 'non-mouse' computer operators employed in word-processing work. Measurements were carried out during correction of a given text. 'Mouse' operators spent 64% of the working time with the operative wrist deviating more than 15 degrees towards the ulnar side, while 'non-mouse' operators spent 96% of the time with the corresponding wrist in neutral position towards radial deviation. The rotation in the shoulder was at all times in neutral position towards inward rotation for 'non-mouse' operators, while 'mouse' operators worked 81% of the time with the shoulder rotated outward more than 30 degrees. 'Mouse' operators corrected a longer text during the given time. Our observations showed long periods of strenuous working postures for 'mouse' operators compared to 'non-mouse' operators. We believe that further investigations need to be carried out on the effects of word-processing techniques and to develop ergonomic work station designs for the 'mouse' and other non-keyboard input devices.

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Posture*
  • Word Processing*