Neck Range of Motion and Use of Computer Head Controls

Edmund LoPresti, David M. Brienza, Jennifer Angelo, Lars Gilbertson and Jonathan Sakai


University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA


Computer head controls provide an alternative means of computer access for people with disabilities. However, a person’s ability to use head controls may be reduced if his or her disability involves neck movement limitations. In this study, 15 subjects without disabilities and 10 subjects with disabilities received neck range of motion evaluations and performed computer exercises using head controls. Regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between neck range of motion and performance on computer exercises. Reduced neck range of motion was found to be correlated with reduced functional range for moving the cursor across the screen, and reduced accuracy and speed in icon selection. Fitts’ Law-type models were fit to the data, indicating higher Fitts’ law slopes for subjects with disabilities compared to subjects without disabilities. Results also indicate that vertical cursor movements are faster than horizontal or diagonal movements.

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