The Effect of Typing Posture on Wrist Extensor Muscle Loading
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High static loading of the forearm extensor musculature has been observed during keying tasks. To reduce the level of loading, one must first understand the contributing factors. A simulation of the human finger was used to determine muscle force contributions during a static index finger key press at several wrist postures. The planar model included active and passive muscle forces of the intrinsic and extrinsic finger muscles. The model was expanded to include the passive forces from the other fingers as well as the weight of the hand to determine the exertion required of the wrist extensor muscles to maintain the given wrist and finger postures. Model results indicated that greater than 25% of maximal exertion is required of the wrist extensors when the wrist is extended to 30. The increased moment contribution from passive forces of the extrinsic finger flexor muscles was responsible for the majority of the increased wrist extensor contribution as the wrist was extended. These findings are in relative agreement with previous electromyographic studies and may indicate a mechanism for forearm extensor pain in office workers. Potential applications of this research include ergonomic modeling of the upper limb to determine internal loads that may lead to work-related disorders.
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