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Ergonomic Mousing Risks

People who use a computer mouse for much of their workday have a higher risk of developing hand and wrist problems, according to a new study by Danish researchers.

The study, conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health in Copenhagen, found that those who worked in front of a computer almost all day and used the mouse at least half of the time had a four-fold higher risk of problems than those who used the computer the same amount of time but used the mouse only a quarter of the time.  The findings came from a survey of 3,500 workers at eleven Danish companies, with follow-up 1½ years later.  “The problem is not only the mouse, but performing repetitive tasks,” said Chris Jensen, coauthor of the study.

In a second study, researchers form the Odense University Hospital and Glostrup and Herning hospitals found that those who used the mouse for more than 30 hours per week had as much as an eight-fold higher risk of developing forearm pain.  They also had double the risk of moderate to severe neck pain and triple the risk of right shoulder pain.  The findings come from a survey of 7,000 technical assistants and machine technicians, with a follow-up one year later.