Influence of posture variation on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion in a repetitive manual task

T. Luger, S.E. Mathiassen, T. Bosch, M. Hoozemans, M. Douwes, H.E.J. Veeger, M.P. de Looze

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OCCUPATIONAL    APPLICATIONS In repetitive work, more physical variation is believed to reduce the risk of eventually developing musculoskeletal disorders. We investigated the extent to which workstation designs leading to more variation in upper arm postures during a pick-and-place task influenced outcomes of relevance to musculoskeletal disorder risk, including muscle activity, cardiovascular response, and perceived exertion, measured through the maximal acceptable work pace. Posture variation to the extent obtained in our experiment had only minor effects on these outcomes, and considerably less impact than a moderate change in working height. Apparently, substantial manipulations of the workstation or of the work task will be needed to accomplish variation to an extent that can significantly change outcomes of relevance to occupational musculoskeletal disorders and, thus, represent a potential for reduction in musculoskeletal disorder risk.

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT Background: Repetitive light assembly work is associated with an increased risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. More exposure variation, for instance by redesigning the workstation, has been proposed as an effective intervention. Purpose: We investigated the effect of upper arm posture variation in a 1-hour repetitive pick-and-place task on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion, measured on the Borg CR-10 scale and in terms of maximal acceptable work pace (MAWP). Methods: Thirteen healthy participants performed the task in three workstation designs where the hand was moved either horizontally (H30/30), diagonally (D20/40), or vertically (V10/50), with a mean upper arm elevation of ∼30°. In a fourth design, the hand was moved horizontally at ∼50° mean arm elevation (H50/50). Results: As intended, upper arm posture variation, measured by the upper arm elevation standard deviation and range of motion, differed between H30/30, D20/40, and V10/50. However, MAWP (10.7 cycles·min−1 on average across conditions; determined using a psychophysical approach), mean upper trapezius activity (54% reference voluntary exertion [RVE]), and heart rate (69 bpm) did not differ between these workstation designs. In H50/50, MAWP was lower (9.3 cycles·min−1), while trapezius activity (78% RVE) and perceived exertion (Borg CR-10) tended to be higher. Conclusions: Our results indicate that posture variation to the extent achieved in the current experiment leads to less effects on muscle activity and perceived exertion than a moderate change in working height.
LanguageEnglish
Pages47-64
JournalIISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors
Volume5
Issue number2
Early online date7 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Posture
Heart Rate
Muscles
Arm
Superficial Back Muscles
Hand
Articular Range of Motion
Healthy Volunteers
Light

Keywords

  • arm elevation
  • exposure variation
  • maximal acceptable work pace
  • muscle activity
  • repetitive work

Cite this

@article{ee47f7e3b94642c583d552f820b20b6c,
title = "Influence of posture variation on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion in a repetitive manual task",
abstract = "OCCUPATIONAL    APPLICATIONS In repetitive work, more physical variation is believed to reduce the risk of eventually developing musculoskeletal disorders. We investigated the extent to which workstation designs leading to more variation in upper arm postures during a pick-and-place task influenced outcomes of relevance to musculoskeletal disorder risk, including muscle activity, cardiovascular response, and perceived exertion, measured through the maximal acceptable work pace. Posture variation to the extent obtained in our experiment had only minor effects on these outcomes, and considerably less impact than a moderate change in working height. Apparently, substantial manipulations of the workstation or of the work task will be needed to accomplish variation to an extent that can significantly change outcomes of relevance to occupational musculoskeletal disorders and, thus, represent a potential for reduction in musculoskeletal disorder risk.TECHNICAL ABSTRACT Background: Repetitive light assembly work is associated with an increased risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. More exposure variation, for instance by redesigning the workstation, has been proposed as an effective intervention. Purpose: We investigated the effect of upper arm posture variation in a 1-hour repetitive pick-and-place task on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion, measured on the Borg CR-10 scale and in terms of maximal acceptable work pace (MAWP). Methods: Thirteen healthy participants performed the task in three workstation designs where the hand was moved either horizontally (H30/30), diagonally (D20/40), or vertically (V10/50), with a mean upper arm elevation of ∼30°. In a fourth design, the hand was moved horizontally at ∼50° mean arm elevation (H50/50). Results: As intended, upper arm posture variation, measured by the upper arm elevation standard deviation and range of motion, differed between H30/30, D20/40, and V10/50. However, MAWP (10.7 cycles·min−1 on average across conditions; determined using a psychophysical approach), mean upper trapezius activity (54{\%} reference voluntary exertion [RVE]), and heart rate (69 bpm) did not differ between these workstation designs. In H50/50, MAWP was lower (9.3 cycles·min−1), while trapezius activity (78{\%} RVE) and perceived exertion (Borg CR-10) tended to be higher. Conclusions: Our results indicate that posture variation to the extent achieved in the current experiment leads to less effects on muscle activity and perceived exertion than a moderate change in working height.",
keywords = "arm elevation, exposure variation, maximal acceptable work pace, muscle activity, repetitive work",
author = "T. Luger and S.E. Mathiassen and T. Bosch and M. Hoozemans and M. Douwes and H.E.J. Veeger and {de Looze}, M.P.",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1080/24725838.2017.1303655",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "47--64",
journal = "IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors",
issn = "2472-5846",
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}

Influence of posture variation on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion in a repetitive manual task. / Luger, T.; Mathiassen, S.E.; Bosch, T.; Hoozemans, M.; Douwes, M.; Veeger, H.E.J.; de Looze, M.P.

In: IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2017, p. 47-64.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of posture variation on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion in a repetitive manual task

AU - Luger, T.

AU - Mathiassen, S.E.

AU - Bosch, T.

AU - Hoozemans, M.

AU - Douwes, M.

AU - Veeger, H.E.J.

AU - de Looze, M.P.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - OCCUPATIONAL    APPLICATIONS In repetitive work, more physical variation is believed to reduce the risk of eventually developing musculoskeletal disorders. We investigated the extent to which workstation designs leading to more variation in upper arm postures during a pick-and-place task influenced outcomes of relevance to musculoskeletal disorder risk, including muscle activity, cardiovascular response, and perceived exertion, measured through the maximal acceptable work pace. Posture variation to the extent obtained in our experiment had only minor effects on these outcomes, and considerably less impact than a moderate change in working height. Apparently, substantial manipulations of the workstation or of the work task will be needed to accomplish variation to an extent that can significantly change outcomes of relevance to occupational musculoskeletal disorders and, thus, represent a potential for reduction in musculoskeletal disorder risk.TECHNICAL ABSTRACT Background: Repetitive light assembly work is associated with an increased risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. More exposure variation, for instance by redesigning the workstation, has been proposed as an effective intervention. Purpose: We investigated the effect of upper arm posture variation in a 1-hour repetitive pick-and-place task on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion, measured on the Borg CR-10 scale and in terms of maximal acceptable work pace (MAWP). Methods: Thirteen healthy participants performed the task in three workstation designs where the hand was moved either horizontally (H30/30), diagonally (D20/40), or vertically (V10/50), with a mean upper arm elevation of ∼30°. In a fourth design, the hand was moved horizontally at ∼50° mean arm elevation (H50/50). Results: As intended, upper arm posture variation, measured by the upper arm elevation standard deviation and range of motion, differed between H30/30, D20/40, and V10/50. However, MAWP (10.7 cycles·min−1 on average across conditions; determined using a psychophysical approach), mean upper trapezius activity (54% reference voluntary exertion [RVE]), and heart rate (69 bpm) did not differ between these workstation designs. In H50/50, MAWP was lower (9.3 cycles·min−1), while trapezius activity (78% RVE) and perceived exertion (Borg CR-10) tended to be higher. Conclusions: Our results indicate that posture variation to the extent achieved in the current experiment leads to less effects on muscle activity and perceived exertion than a moderate change in working height.

AB - OCCUPATIONAL    APPLICATIONS In repetitive work, more physical variation is believed to reduce the risk of eventually developing musculoskeletal disorders. We investigated the extent to which workstation designs leading to more variation in upper arm postures during a pick-and-place task influenced outcomes of relevance to musculoskeletal disorder risk, including muscle activity, cardiovascular response, and perceived exertion, measured through the maximal acceptable work pace. Posture variation to the extent obtained in our experiment had only minor effects on these outcomes, and considerably less impact than a moderate change in working height. Apparently, substantial manipulations of the workstation or of the work task will be needed to accomplish variation to an extent that can significantly change outcomes of relevance to occupational musculoskeletal disorders and, thus, represent a potential for reduction in musculoskeletal disorder risk.TECHNICAL ABSTRACT Background: Repetitive light assembly work is associated with an increased risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. More exposure variation, for instance by redesigning the workstation, has been proposed as an effective intervention. Purpose: We investigated the effect of upper arm posture variation in a 1-hour repetitive pick-and-place task on shoulder muscle activity, heart rate, and perceived exertion, measured on the Borg CR-10 scale and in terms of maximal acceptable work pace (MAWP). Methods: Thirteen healthy participants performed the task in three workstation designs where the hand was moved either horizontally (H30/30), diagonally (D20/40), or vertically (V10/50), with a mean upper arm elevation of ∼30°. In a fourth design, the hand was moved horizontally at ∼50° mean arm elevation (H50/50). Results: As intended, upper arm posture variation, measured by the upper arm elevation standard deviation and range of motion, differed between H30/30, D20/40, and V10/50. However, MAWP (10.7 cycles·min−1 on average across conditions; determined using a psychophysical approach), mean upper trapezius activity (54% reference voluntary exertion [RVE]), and heart rate (69 bpm) did not differ between these workstation designs. In H50/50, MAWP was lower (9.3 cycles·min−1), while trapezius activity (78% RVE) and perceived exertion (Borg CR-10) tended to be higher. Conclusions: Our results indicate that posture variation to the extent achieved in the current experiment leads to less effects on muscle activity and perceived exertion than a moderate change in working height.

KW - arm elevation

KW - exposure variation

KW - maximal acceptable work pace

KW - muscle activity

KW - repetitive work

U2 - 10.1080/24725838.2017.1303655

DO - 10.1080/24725838.2017.1303655

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 47

EP - 64

JO - IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors

T2 - IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors

JF - IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors

SN - 2472-5846

IS - 2

ER -