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Suggestions for people working in data entry or who have a significant amount of data entry in their job

Data Entry

Data entry requires the operator to move from field to field around a screen and then to move from screen to screen as the various data fields are populated. The data is frequently alphanumeric, but sometimes it can be just letters or just numbers. See the Accounting/Bookkeeping page if you have a situation where you do extensive numeric data input.


To enter the data in these fields, the operator must move the cursor to the appropriate field in order to enter the data. There is a repetitive sequence of events: move cursor, click in the field, enter data, move cursor, click in the field, enter data, etc.


Problems begin to arise when data entry is done repetitively for prolonged periods of time. Shoulder discomfort is a frequent symptom of extensive numeric entry as the arm reaches to the side of the keyboard to grasp the mouse. The repetitive motions are: keyboarding, reaching for the mouse, moving the mouse, clicking the mouse, and returning to the keyboard. This cycle is repeated for every field that needs to be completed.

Relative Position of the Mouse and the Keyboard

A person operating their mouse with the right hand will place the mouse beside the numeric keypad section of the keyboard. An unsupported arm moving back and forth between the mouse and the keyboard can develop shoulder discomfort.

Solutions

The key to this problem is to either reduce the amount of shoulder movement used to reach the mouse or to support the arm that is operating the mouse - so that stress on the shoulder is reduced or eliminated.



Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard

The Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard places the numeric keypad to the left of the keyboard, saving as much as 6" on the right side. This reduces the amount of reaching, if the mouse is operated right-handed, as the mouse is placed closer to the keyboard.


Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard with an Evoluent Vertical Mouse
Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard with an Evoluent Vertical Mouse

Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard with a Kensington Orbit Mouse Optical Trackball

Relative position of the mouse when using the Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard as compared to a standard keyboard
Relative position of the mouse when using the Evoluent Mouse Friendly Compact Keyboard as compared to a standard keyboard

Adjustable Keyboard and a Stationary Mouse

These images are of the Kinesis Freestyle Keyboard used in conjunction with a Cirque Touchpad. The touchpad is an example of a stationary mouse (a mouse which can be operated without having to be held and moved on the desk).


The adjustable keyboard does not have a distinct numeric keypad; rather the numeric keypad is "embedded" within the alphanumeric keys. The absence of the numeric keypad reduces the overall width of the keyboard by ~5".


Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse in the centre
Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse in the centre. This arrangement allows the operator to manipulate the mouse with either hand.

Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse on the right
Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse on the right.

The following image shows how a compact keyboard/trackball setup can be arranged. When a numeric keypad is not required (because you are not entering extensive numeric data) this can be a very effective setup.


Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with trackball on the left
Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with trackball (Kensington Slimblade ) on the left.

The following image shows how an 'A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard/RollerMouse setup can be arranged. The mouse pointer is manipulated by moving the rollerbar, so no reaching for the mouse is required. The 'A' Style Keyboard has slanted keys, reducing the amount of ulnar deviation. It uses a standard numeric keypad.


A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard with a RollerMouse Pro2 Mouse.
'A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard with a RollerMouse Pro2 Mouse.

The next example is of a Kinesis Contoured Keyboard used in conjunction with a touchpad. The mouse pointer can be manipulated by either hand, with very little reaching required.


Contoured Keyboard with a Touchpad
Contoured Keyboard with a Touchpad