Of Mice and Men: An Ergonomic and Market Assessment of Current Computer Mice
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Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are conditions that develop over time due to repetitive motion and can painfully affect the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder, back, and neck. Studies indicate a correlation between heavy computer mouse use and the prevalence of WMSDs. Our team evaluated current ergonomic mouse designs to determine which features of mice reduce excessive muscle activation and harmful arm and hand positioning while still maintaining ease of use and marketability. A motion capture system tracked arm and hand positioning, EMG analysis measured muscle activation, force sensors quantified the user‘s clicking force, and a Fitts‘ test evaluated mouse use efficiency. To determine the marketability of mice features, surveys generalized user preferences, while focus groups closely examined specific market factors. All these systems were combined to identify areas of improvement in ergonomic mouse design.