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Effects of portable computing devices on posture, muscle activation levels and efficiency.

Werth A, et al. Appl Ergon. 2014.

Abstract

Very little research exists on ergonomic exposures when using portable computing devices. This study quantified muscle activity (forearm and neck), posture (wrist, forearm and neck), and performance (gross typing speed and error rates) differences across three portable computing devices (laptop, netbook, and slate computer) and two work settings (desk and computer) during data entry tasks. Twelve participants completed test sessions on a single computer using a test-rest-test protocol (30min of work at one work setting, 15min of rest, 30min of work at the other work setting). The slate computer resulted in significantly more non-neutral wrist, elbow and neck postures, particularly when working on the sofa. Performance on the slate computer was four times less than that of the other computers, though lower muscle activity levels were also found. Potential or injury or illness may be elevated when working on smaller, portable computers in non-traditional work settings.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

PMID

24934983 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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