Intense work on computers and the associated use of various input devices may lead to disorders in the musculoskeletal system of the hand, arm, shoulder and/or neck, particularly in individuals already suffering from painful disorders of the upper extremities which have other causes. In this case, ergonomically designed input devices are intended to reduce the exposure to stresses and to prevent further disorders associated with their use. Although standards exist containing requirements for these devices, their provisions are in some cases formulated in general, descriptive terms, with no quantifying data. It is therefore difficult to derive specific recommendations from them.
For this reason, the VBG (the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the administrative sector) has launched a literature study in order to gather current knowledge on the ergonomic design of input devices and on testing of them against mechanical and physiological criteria. The results are published in a BGIA-Report which also provides a checklist for selection of suitable input devices (keyboard and mouses).