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The effect of work pace on workload, motor variability and fatigue during simulated light assembly work
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1443-6211
VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences.
TNO Quality of Life, Hoofddorp.
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2011 (English)In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 54, no 2, 154-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the effect of work pace on workload, motor variability and fatigue during light assembly work. Upper extremity kinematics and electromyography (EMG) were obtained on a cycle-to-cycle basis for eight participants during two conditions, corresponding to "normal" and "high" work pace according to a predetermined time system for engineering. Indicators of fatigue, pain sensitivity and performance were recorded before, during and after the task. The level and variability of muscle activity did not differ according to work pace, and manifestations of muscle fatigue or changed pain sensitivity were not observed. In the high work pace, however, participants moved more efficiently, they showed more variability in wrist speed and acceleration, but they also made more errors. These results suggest that an increased work pace, within the range addressed here, will not have any substantial adverse effects on acute motor performance and fatigue in light, cyclic assembly work. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: In the manufacturing industry, work pace is a key issue in production system design and hence of interest to ergonomists as well as engineers. In this laboratory study, increasing the work pace did not show adverse effects in terms of biomechanical exposures and muscle fatigue, but it did lead to more errors. For the industrial engineer, this observation suggests that an increase in work pace might diminish production quality, even without any noticeable fatigue being experienced by the operators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 54, no 2, 154-168 p.
Keyword [en]
Industrial ergonomics, Variability, Electromyography, Fatigue, Kinematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-7867DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2010.538723ISI: 000286926600005PubMedID: 21294013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79551622173OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-7867DiVA: diva2:359073
Available from: 2010-10-26 Created: 2010-10-26 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved

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