Influence of time pressure and verbal provocation on physiological and psychological reactions during work with a computer mouse
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The overall aim of this study was to investigate whether time pressure and verbal provocation has any effect on physiological and psychological reactions during work with a computer mouse. It was hypothesised that physiological reactions other than muscle activity (i.e. wrist movements, forces applied to the computer mouse) would not be affected when working under stressful conditions. Fifteen subjects (8 men and 7 women) participated, performing a standardised text-editing task under stress and control conditions. Blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability, electromyography, a force-sensing computer mouse and electrogoniometry were used to assess the physiological reactions of the subjects. Mood ratings and ratings of perceived exertion were used to assess their psychological reactions. The time pressure and verbal provocation (stress situation) resulted in increased physiological and psychological reactions compared with the two control situations. Heart rate, blood pressure and muscle activity in the first dorsal interosseus, right extensor digitorum and right trapezius muscles were greater in the stress situation. The peak forces applied to the button of the computer mouse and wrist movements were also affected by condition. Whether the increases in the physiological reactions were due to stress or increased speed/productivity during the stress situation is discussed. In conclusion, work with a computer mouse under time pressure and verbal provocation (stress conditions) led to increased physiological and psychological reactions compared to control conditions.
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