Free
Research Article  |   July 2009
Potentially Problematic Postures During Work Site Keyboard Use
Author Affiliations
  • Nancy A. Baker, ScD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, 5012 Forbes Tower, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; nab36@pitt.edu
  • Mark Redfern, PhD, is Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Work and Industry / Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
Research Article   |   July 2009
Potentially Problematic Postures During Work Site Keyboard Use
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 386-397. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.386
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 386-397. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.386
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We described the frequency and distribution of keyboard users’ potentially risky postural behaviors.

METHOD. Forty-three participants’ keyboard postural behaviors were rated with the Keyboard–Personal Computer Style instrument (Baker & Redfern, 2005). The frequency and distribution of keyboard postural behaviors and the associations and differences between the right and left sides were assessed.

RESULTS. Generally, each static posture had one criterion that occurred frequently, whereas dynamic postures were distributed throughout the criteria. The right and left sides were significantly associated for shoulder flexion, elbow flexion, hand displacement, wrist extension, forearm rotation, isolated fifth digit, metacarpophalangeal hyperextension, and wrist support use and significantly different for hand displacement, isolated thumb, number of digits, and metacarpophalangeal hyperextension.

CONCLUSION. Potentially problematic postural behaviors are common among keyboard users. Our results suggest that occupational therapists must systematically assess postures on both the right and the left sides to develop the most effective intervention strategies.