An ergonomic evaluation comparing desktop, notebook, and subnotebook computers
Szeto, G.P. and Lee, R.Y.W. (2002) An ergonomic evaluation comparing desktop, notebook, and subnotebook computers Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 83 (4). pp. 527-532. ISSN 0003-9993
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Objective: To evaluate and compare the postures and movements of the cervical and upper thoracic spine, the typing performance, and workstation ergonomic factors when using a desktop, notebook, and subnotebook computers. Design: Repeated-measures design. Setting: A motion analysis laboratory with an electromagnetic tracking device. Participants: A convenience sample of 21 university students between ages 20 and 24 years with no history of neck or shoulder discomfort. Intervention: Each subject performed a standardized typing task by using each of the 3 computers. Main Outcome Measures: Measurements during the typing task were taken at set intervals. Results: Cervical and thoracic spines adopted a more flexed posture in using the smaller-sized computers. There were significantly greater neck movements in using desktop computers when compared with the notebook and subnotebook computers. The viewing distances adopted by the subjects decreased as the computer size decreased. Typing performance and subjective rating of difficulty in using the keyboards were also significantly different among the 3 types of computers. Conclusions: Computer users need to consider the posture of the spine and potential risk of developing musculoskeletal discomfort in choosing computers.
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