An ergonomics study of thumb movements on smartphone touch screen

Jinghong Xiong, Satoshi Muraki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the relationships between thumb muscle activity and thumb operating tasks on a smartphone touch screen with one-hand posture. Six muscles in the right thumb and forearm were targeted in this study, namely adductor pollicis, flexor pollicis brevis, abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor pollicis longus, first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and extensor digitorum. The performance measures showed that the thumb developed fatigue rapidly when tapping on smaller buttons (diameter: 9 mm compared with 3 mm), and moved more slowly in flexion-extension than in adduction-abduction orientation. Meanwhile, the electromyography and perceived exertion values of FDI significantly increased in small button and flexion-extension tasks, while those of APB were greater in the adduction-abduction task. This study reveals that muscle effort among thumb muscles on a touch screen smartphone varies according to the task, and suggests that the use of small touch buttons should be minimised for better thumb performance. Practitioner Summary: Through measurements of electromyography, thumb performance and perceived exertion, this study reveals that demand on FDI increases when the thumb taps small buttons and in flexion-extension orientation, but that demand on APB increases in adduction-abduction orientation. The decreased thumb performance with small buttons is attributed to a combination of smaller targets and increased demand on FDI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-955
Number of pages13
JournalErgonomics
Volume57
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Fingerprint

Touch screens
Human Engineering
Smartphones
Thumb
Ergonomics
abduction
ergonomics
Muscle
Electromyography
performance
demand
Muscles
fatigue
Fatigue of materials
Smartphone
Touch
Posture
Forearm
Values
Fatigue

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

An ergonomics study of thumb movements on smartphone touch screen. / Xiong, Jinghong; Muraki, Satoshi.

In: Ergonomics, Vol. 57, No. 6, 06.2014, p. 943-955.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xiong, Jinghong ; Muraki, Satoshi. / An ergonomics study of thumb movements on smartphone touch screen. In: Ergonomics. 2014 ; Vol. 57, No. 6. pp. 943-955.
@article{6c2e3089111d43d2a7bef5ab1a6bc06d,
title = "An ergonomics study of thumb movements on smartphone touch screen",
abstract = "This study investigated the relationships between thumb muscle activity and thumb operating tasks on a smartphone touch screen with one-hand posture. Six muscles in the right thumb and forearm were targeted in this study, namely adductor pollicis, flexor pollicis brevis, abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor pollicis longus, first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and extensor digitorum. The performance measures showed that the thumb developed fatigue rapidly when tapping on smaller buttons (diameter: 9 mm compared with 3 mm), and moved more slowly in flexion-extension than in adduction-abduction orientation. Meanwhile, the electromyography and perceived exertion values of FDI significantly increased in small button and flexion-extension tasks, while those of APB were greater in the adduction-abduction task. This study reveals that muscle effort among thumb muscles on a touch screen smartphone varies according to the task, and suggests that the use of small touch buttons should be minimised for better thumb performance. Practitioner Summary: Through measurements of electromyography, thumb performance and perceived exertion, this study reveals that demand on FDI increases when the thumb taps small buttons and in flexion-extension orientation, but that demand on APB increases in adduction-abduction orientation. The decreased thumb performance with small buttons is attributed to a combination of smaller targets and increased demand on FDI.",
author = "Jinghong Xiong and Satoshi Muraki",
year = "2014",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1080/00140139.2014.904007",
language = "English",
volume = "57",
pages = "943--955",
journal = "Ergonomics",
issn = "0014-0139",
publisher = "Japan Ergonomics Society",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An ergonomics study of thumb movements on smartphone touch screen

AU - Xiong, Jinghong

AU - Muraki, Satoshi

PY - 2014/6

Y1 - 2014/6

N2 - This study investigated the relationships between thumb muscle activity and thumb operating tasks on a smartphone touch screen with one-hand posture. Six muscles in the right thumb and forearm were targeted in this study, namely adductor pollicis, flexor pollicis brevis, abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor pollicis longus, first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and extensor digitorum. The performance measures showed that the thumb developed fatigue rapidly when tapping on smaller buttons (diameter: 9 mm compared with 3 mm), and moved more slowly in flexion-extension than in adduction-abduction orientation. Meanwhile, the electromyography and perceived exertion values of FDI significantly increased in small button and flexion-extension tasks, while those of APB were greater in the adduction-abduction task. This study reveals that muscle effort among thumb muscles on a touch screen smartphone varies according to the task, and suggests that the use of small touch buttons should be minimised for better thumb performance. Practitioner Summary: Through measurements of electromyography, thumb performance and perceived exertion, this study reveals that demand on FDI increases when the thumb taps small buttons and in flexion-extension orientation, but that demand on APB increases in adduction-abduction orientation. The decreased thumb performance with small buttons is attributed to a combination of smaller targets and increased demand on FDI.

AB - This study investigated the relationships between thumb muscle activity and thumb operating tasks on a smartphone touch screen with one-hand posture. Six muscles in the right thumb and forearm were targeted in this study, namely adductor pollicis, flexor pollicis brevis, abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor pollicis longus, first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and extensor digitorum. The performance measures showed that the thumb developed fatigue rapidly when tapping on smaller buttons (diameter: 9 mm compared with 3 mm), and moved more slowly in flexion-extension than in adduction-abduction orientation. Meanwhile, the electromyography and perceived exertion values of FDI significantly increased in small button and flexion-extension tasks, while those of APB were greater in the adduction-abduction task. This study reveals that muscle effort among thumb muscles on a touch screen smartphone varies according to the task, and suggests that the use of small touch buttons should be minimised for better thumb performance. Practitioner Summary: Through measurements of electromyography, thumb performance and perceived exertion, this study reveals that demand on FDI increases when the thumb taps small buttons and in flexion-extension orientation, but that demand on APB increases in adduction-abduction orientation. The decreased thumb performance with small buttons is attributed to a combination of smaller targets and increased demand on FDI.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84901691126&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84901691126&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00140139.2014.904007

DO - 10.1080/00140139.2014.904007

M3 - Article

C2 - 24707989

AN - SCOPUS:84901691126

VL - 57

SP - 943

EP - 955

JO - Ergonomics

JF - Ergonomics

SN - 0014-0139

IS - 6

ER -