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Do fancy keyboards improve work-related arm, neck, or shoulder complaints?

Ergonomic adjustments (modified keyboard layouts and ergonomic advice) play a major role in treating most work-related complaints.

This Cochrane review concludes that the scientific support is underwhelming.

People with chronic nonspecific neck or shoulder complaints, or nonspecific upper extremity disorders were evaluated in 17 (generally poor quality) studies.

And, the results.

  • Limited evidence for the effectiveness of keyboards with an alternative force-displacement or an alternative geometry of the keys.
  • Limited evidence for the effectiveness of exercises vs massage, or for taking breaks during computer work vs no breaks.
  • Limited evidence for massage as add-on treatment to manual therapy, and for manual therapy as an add-on treatment to exercises.

The bottom line?
Another industry based on sizzle rather than science.

10/13/07 15:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.