A User-Centered Ergonomic Keyboard Design To Mitigate Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

, , , and . International Journal of Ergonomics (IJEG), 10 (1): 27-42 (August 2020)


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are amongst the most prevalent occupational disorders around the United States 1. Acknowledging ergonomic variables, such as the architecture of workplace computer equipment, may well reduce the likelihood of employees forming musculoskeletal disorders 2. This work portrays what we understand from research regarding the impact of workplace ergonomic interventions as it relates to the computer keyboard. Classic QWERTY computer keyboard designs are no longer constrained to the conventional horizontal configuration that are ordinarily packaged with individual computers. Now, there are keyboards which are partitioned into two sections, and these haves can have keys oriented at an angle, sloped down to the visual display terminal, or tilted up forming a geometric triangular shape 3. These interventions are intended to position upper limbs in a more natural orientation resulting in pain alleviation, and a reduction in likelihood of musculoskeletal disorder development from the repetitive use of conventional computer keyboards 1. Research efforts reviewed in this work also illustrate that experienced typists quickly adapt to alternative keyboard features, and are just as productive in terms of words per minute output. A proposed ergonomic computer keyboard design (Trinity) delivered in this paper maintains the integrity of literature by integrating insights from previous works to reduce musculoskeletal disorders while maintaining interactive user productivity.

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