Professional use of a computer entails the use of efficient computer input devices. The mouse and the keyboard are two of the most important. Incorrect use and frequently unsuitable or unergonomical devices are increasingly the cause of health problems, as both place an undue burden on the spinal column (particularly the cervical spine), the muscles and joints (primarily shoulder and hand). These massive strains, possibly also in combination with stress, can make the user ill in the long term.
This is detrimental to output and quality while increasing the periods of absence for sick leave. It even has a negative impact on the user's own quality of life, latest when the problems become chronic.
The main question is how can we deal with these problems? The more countermeasures are taken, the greater the probability of finding the solution. Hence we have to learn to relax, to deal with negative stress. Supervisors must exemplify a humane management style, and we must move more – at work and also in our spare time, etc.
Another, indispensable help is to design the whole workplace according to ergonomic, back-friendly aspects. This includes among others the lighting, available space, room climate, even the colour scheme in the room, the furnishings and of course also ergonomically designed, user-friendly keyboards and mouse devices to relieve the pressure on the user instead of compounding the problems. In addition, the input devices must be suitable for the user because different people have different preferences.
The mouse should permit an ergonomically appropriate working position that counteracts problems in the wrist joint and in the linked chain of joints and muscles up to the cervical spine.
An ergonomic keyboard allows to hold the her hands in a physically appropriate way, in order to help to prevent tension- and stress-related pain.
Both computer mouse and keyboard can be arranged flexibly and operated without interference. A health-promoting position of the fingers, hand and wrist is ensured by the design and handling. The use of the work equipment does not cause any additional stress on the psyche, body and eyesight.
While handling all these input devices, generally the upper and lower arm should preferably be held at right angles to keep the load of the arm as close as possible to the spinal column. In this context it is also important to consider the height of the working surface, the desk and the adjustment of the chair.
Every increase in distance between hands and spinal column results in higher static strain which can cause problems. It is beneficial to the health to keep the input devices as close as possible to the body. The so-called "long arm" position frequently causes problems in the shoulders. The further the hand is from the body, the greater the strain in the cervical column. This can cause stress and tension. It must be possible to rest the wrist joints in relaxed fashion when not entering data on the computer, e.g. with an integrated wrist support or a forearm rest.
PC input devices are an important part of the office workstation: Their functionality depends on the entire workplace being ergonomically designed.
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Ergonomic, anatomically correct working at the computer
Natural, fatigue-free working at the computer