The position of a standard optical computer mouse affects cardiorespiratory responses during the operation of a computer under time constraints
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Department of Physical Therapy, Nagoya Isen School Corporation Vocational College, Aichi, Japan
Department of Occupational Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
Department of Rehabilitation, Aichi Kouseiren Asuke Hospital, Aichi, Japan
Department of Rehabilitation, Gifu Junior College of Health Science, Gifu, Japan
Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kinjo University, Ishikawa, Japan
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014;27(4):547-59
Objectives: This study investigated the association between task-induced stress and fatigue by examining the cardiovascular responses of subjects using different mouse positions while operating a computer under time constraints. Material and Methods: The study was participated by 16 young, healthy men and examined the use of optical mouse devices affixed to laptop computers. Two mouse positions were investigated: (1) the distal position (DP), in which the subjects place their forearms on the desk accompanied by the abduction and flexion of their shoulder joints, and (2) the proximal position (PP), in which the subjects place only their wrists on the desk without using an armrest. The subjects continued each task for 16 min. We assessed differences in several characteristics according to mouse position, including expired gas values, autonomic nerve activities (based on cardiorespiratory responses), operating efficiencies (based on word counts), and fatigue levels (based on the visual analog scale – VAS). Results: Oxygen consumption (VO2), the ratio of inspiration time to respiration time (Ti/Ttotal), respiratory rate (RR), minute ventilation (VE), and the ratio of expiration to inspiration (Te/Ti) were significantly lower when the participants were performing the task in the DP than those obtained in the PP. Tidal volume (VT), carbon dioxide output rates (VCO2/VE), and oxygen extraction fractions (VO2/VE) were significantly higher for the DP than they were for the PP. No significant difference in VAS was observed between the positions; however, as the task progressed, autonomic nerve activities were lower and operating efficiencies were significantly higher for the DP than they were for the PP. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the DP has fewer effects on cardiorespiratory functions, causes lower levels of sympathetic nerve activity and mental stress, and produces a higher total workload than the PP. This suggests that the DP is preferable to the PP when operating a computer.
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