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Changes in physical workload with implementation of mouse-based information technology in air traffic control
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1443-6211
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, ISSN 0169-8141, E-ISSN 1872-8219, Vol. 36, no 7, 613-622 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Effects on physical workload were quantified when introducing new information technology in air traffic control. Seven female and seven male air traffic controllers were studied in an old control system, and during simulated - but similar - work in a new, mouse-based system. Postures, movements and muscular load were recorded (inclinometry for head, neck, back and upper arms; goniometry for wrists; electromyography for the trapezius and forearm extensor muscles). The new system was associated with lower movement velocities than the old one (examples; [50th percentiles] head flexion: 2 vs. 5 o/s, P<0.01; right arm elevation: 3 vs. 6 o/s; P<0.01; [90th percentile] wrist flexion: 19 vs. 50 o/s, P<0.01), less varying postures (head: 95th-5th percentile range 17° vs. 34o; P<0.01), and less muscular rest in the right forearm extensors (3.5 vs. 9% of time; P<0.05). The old/new system differences were amplified at high work intensities. The new air traffic control system caused a major change of physical exposures, probably associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders in arms and hands.

Relevance to industry

While this study concerned the specific changes in the introduction of a new air traffic control system, we believe that the findings are applicable to similar technological developments in other settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 36, no 7, 613-622 p.
Keyword [en]
Computer work, Visual display unit, Posture, Movements, Muscular load, Technical measurements
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2808DOI: 10.1016/j.ergon.2006.03.002ISI: 000238878900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33745143600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2808DiVA: diva2:119470
Available from: 2007-11-21 Created: 2007-11-21 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved

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