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Biomechanical evaluation of an ergonomic mouse prototype

Grant number: 11/20011-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 15, 2012
Effective date (End): March 03, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Paulo Roberto Veiga Quemelo
Grantee:Paulo Roberto Veiga Quemelo
Host: Edgar Ramos Vieira
Home Institution: Pró-Reitoria Adjunta de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Universidade de Franca (UNIFRAN). Franca, SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Florida International University (FIU), United States  

Abstract

The computer mouse is a tool utilized frequently to interface with computers. Some studies have found an association between computer mice use and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Thus, an ergonomically designed computer mice called "Ergonomic Mouse Based on the Biomechanics of Handwriting" (EMBH) was previously developed and patented with the intent of reducing the risks of MSD (FAPESP - São Paulo Research Foundation, and USP - University of São Paulo). The objective of this study is to quantify the performance, comfort and biomechanics of the neck, head and upper limb joints while using the EMBH prototype, and compare the results with those when using a conventional mouse. Fifteen subjects between 18 and 35 years of age will be recruited to participate on the study. Following the adaptation phase (two weeks using the EMBH prototype) the volunteer performances will be evaluated using the Fitts' Law test which includes different mouse input tasks. Surface electromyography (sEMG) will be used to capture the electrical activity of the following muscles: extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor digitorum, pronator quadratus, pronator teres, anterior deltoid, medial deltoid and the upper trapezius. To measure the angles of the wrist flexion/extension, radial/ulnar deviation and pronation/supination, elbow flexion/extension, three electrogoniometers will be used. A nine-camera Qualysis infrared motion analysis system will be used to track the cervical spine, and shoulder movements and postures in relation to the workstation; analysis will be done using the Visual 3D c-motion software. After all tasks, the volunteers will answer a questionnaire to assess comfort, ease of use, adaptability and pros and cons of both mice. The results for each mouse type will be compared for all variables. (AU)