The investigation, published in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, observed 90 people in a work environment recreated in the laboratory and developed a model through algorithms.
Stressed people move the mouse pointer more often and less accurately and travel longer distances on the screen, explained Mara Nägelin, mathematician at ETH.
On the other hand, those who are relaxed use the computer mouse in shorter and more direct ways to reach their destination on the screen, taking longer to do so.
As for the use of the keyboard, people who are stressed in the work environment make more mistakes while writing, unlike those who are relaxed, who write with fewer but longer pauses.
The association between stress and keyboard typing and mouse behaviour can be explained by what is known as the neuromotor noise theory.
"Increased levels of stress negatively affect our brain's ability to process information. It also affects our motor skills," explained study co-author Jasmine Kerr.