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Hand usage pattern and upper body discomfort of desktop touchscreen users

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A laboratory study was conducted to determine how users of different handedness interact with desktop touchscreen displays and how the hand usage pattern influences their body discomfort development. Twenty-one participants in three different handedness groups conducted simple web-browsing for 30 minutes using a 23″ touchscreen display while their subjective body discomfort, frequency of use of each hand and touch area preference were periodically quantified. Participants reported a gradual increase in body discomfort during web-browsing, and the increments in body discomfort varied between handedness groups for some body parts. Results also show that right-handed participants had stronger laterality than the left-handed, and ambidextrous participants used both hands more evenly than other participants, suggesting associations between the hand usage pattern and body discomfort development. Findings of the current study suggest that body discomfort of desktop touchscreen display users could be moderated by user-interface improvements and user training.

Practitioner Summary: Body discomfort development of desktop touchscreen users may be influenced by their hand usage pattern. Findings of this laboratory study suggest that user discomfort may be moderated by placing menu items in the lower area within the display or training users to alternate hands when conducting touch gestures.
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Keywords: body discomfort; hand preference; handedness; touch interface; touchscreen

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Human and Systems Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Korea

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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