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Ergonomics. 1994 Apr;37(4):703-24.

The effects of computer interface design on human postural dynamics.

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Center for Industrial Ergonomics, University of Louisville, KY 40292.


The main objective of this study was to examine the effects of human-computer interface design on postural dynamics, i.e., changes in working postures and postural discomfort exhibited by operators of the computer-based remote bar coding (RBC) system. In addition, the effects of different work/rest schedules on postural dynamics were evaluated. Twelve subjects participated in the laboratory experiment, which consisted of twelve scenarios utilizing two cognitive task requirement factors, i.e., (1) information presentation mode, defined through the letter image preview on the computer screen (none or one preview image); and (2) the information processing mode, defined through the specific keying method (key all characters or key 5 digits only). The third experimental factor was the work/rest schedule (50 min work/10 min break, 2 h of work/15 min break, or flexible schedule). The results showed that requirements of human-computer interface design significantly affected the operators' postural dynamics. It was concluded that not only the physical, organizational, or psychosocial work environment characteristics, but also the cognitive task characteristics are important for assessment of postural effects in the VDT work. The relationship between interface design, mental workload and postural dynamics should be carefully considered in future studies aimed at optimizing the human-computer data entry tasks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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