Document Detail

The effects of keyswitch stiffness on typing force, finger electromyography, and subjective discomfort.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10635542     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of keyswitch stiffness and key action on typing force, electromyography (EMG), and subjective preference were examined. Each subject's own keyboard (with an audible key click and key activation force of 0.72 N) and three keyboards with no key click that were identical in design but had different key activation forces (0.28 N, 0.56 N, and 0.83 N) were used. Subjects (24 female transcriptionists) typed on each keyboard for 15 min while typing force and left hand surface EMG of the finger flexor and extensor muscles were monitored. Subjects then used one of the keyboards at their workstations for 7 workdays and were monitored again. This procedure was repeated for all four keyboards. Typing force and finger flexor and extensor EMG activity were highest for the 0.83 N keyboard. Lowest EMG values were for the 0.28 N and the 0.72 N audible key click keyboards. Baseline (10th percentile) and median (50th percentile) extensor EMG values were significantly higher than flexor EMG values. Peak (90th percentile) EMG values were comparable for flexors and extensors. Mean subjective discomfort was significantly higher for the 0.83 N keyboard at the fingers (36% higher), lower arm (40% higher), and overall (39% higher). Seventeen of 24 subjects preferred the 0.72 N keyboard, 4 the 0.28 N keyboard, and 3 preferred the 0.56 N keyboard. Results suggest that increasing make force causes typing force and EMG to increase but that the ratio of 90th centile typing force to make force decreases as make force increases. Subjective discomfort was significantly higher for the keyboard with 0.83 N make force. Buckling spring keyboards have better feedback characteristics, which may be responsible for a decrease in the amount of typing force and EMG produced.
M J Gerard; T J Armstrong; A Franzblau; B J Martin; D M Rempel
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American Industrial Hygiene Association journal     Volume:  60     ISSN:  0002-8894     ISO Abbreviation:  Am Ind Hyg Assoc J     Publication Date:    1999 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-07     Completed Date:  2000-02-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0371160     Medline TA:  Am Ind Hyg Assoc J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  762-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Health, Safety & Environment, Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY 14652, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Fingers / physiology*
Human Engineering
Medical Records*
Middle Aged
Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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