A comparison of wrist posture and forearm muscle activities while using an alternative keyboard and a standard keyboard

G. P Y Szeto, Joseph Kim Fai Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The wrist posture associated with the use of the conventional "QWERTY" keyboard is a risk factor for work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the upper limbs. Newly designed keyboards have been produced with the aim to reduce the strain in the wrist and forearm region. The present study compared the effects of using a standard keyboard and a split/angled keyboard on the forearm muscle activities and wrist joint angles. Ten subjects (6 males and 4 females) performed a standard keyboard task for 30 min, using each of the two keyboards while wrist joint angles and electromyography (EMG) were recorded. Wrist extension and ulnar deviation angles were both significantly reduced with the split/angled keyboard (p = .030 and .010), and lower EMG activities were recorded in the extensor carpi radialis and ulnaris muscles. The present results implied that the split/angled keyboard may be a better instrument for prolonged keyboard operation, resulting in reduced strain in the wrist and forearm region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000


  • Alternative keyboard
  • Electromyography
  • Goniometer
  • Ulnar deviation
  • Work-related neck and upper limb disorders
  • Wrist extension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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