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  • 1.
    Arvidsson, Inger
    et al.
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
    Hansson, Gert-Ake
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Skerfving, Staffan
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
    Neck postures in air traffic controllers with and without neck/shoulder disorders2008In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 255-260Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prolonged computer work with an extended neck is commonly believed to be associated with an increased risk of neck-shoulder disorders. The aim of this study was to compare neck postures during computer work between female cases with neck-shoulder disorders, and healthy referents. Based on physical examinations, 13 cases and 11 referents were selected among 70 female air traffic controllers with the same computer-based work tasks and identical work stations. Postures and movements were measured by inclinometers, placed on the forehead and upper back (C7/Th1) during authentic air traffic control. A recently developed method was applied to assess flexion/extension in the neck, calculated as the difference between head and upper back flexion/extension. Results: Cases and referents did not differ significantly in neck posture (median neck flexion/extension: -10° vs. -9°; p=0.9). Hence, the belief that neck extension posture is associated with neck-shoulder disorders in computer work is not supported by the present data

  • 2.
    Barbieri, Dechristian
    et al.
    Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Oliveira, Ana Beatriz
    Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos.
    Variation in upper extremity, neck and trunk postures when performing computer work at a sit-stand station2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 75, p. 120-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to determine the extent of upper arm, neck and trunk posture variation that can be obtained by combining seated and standing computer work, compared to performing only seated computer work. Posture data were recorded for two hours during each of three days of ordinary work from 24 office workers that had been using a sit-stand station for two months. Periods with sitting and standing computer work were identified using on-site observations, and posture means and minute-to-minute variance were determined for both. Expected minute-to-minute posture variability in different temporal combinations of sitting and standing computer work were determined by simulation, and expressed in terms of a Job Variance Ratio, i.e. the relative increase in variability compared to sitting-only work. For all three postures, mean values differed between sitting and standing computer work, and both showed a notable minute-to-minute variability. For most workers, posture variability was larger when combining sitting and standing than when sitting only, and simulations suggested to introduce more standing than what the worker currently practiced. The results indicate that introducing a sit-stand table could, for most office workers, have a positive effect on upper arm, neck and trunk posture variability.

  • 3.
    Dempsey, Patrick G
    et al.
    Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Center for Safety Research, Hopkinton, MA, United States .
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Center for Safety Research, Hopkinton, MA, United States .
    On the evolution of task-based analysis of manual materials handling, and its applicability in contemporary ergonomics2006In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 37, no 1, p. 33-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The industrial revolution significantly changed the way work was organized and analyzed by the introduction and widespread implementation of the division of labor philosophy. This philosophy has continued to dominate work design, and has evolved beyond the factory to include many facets of service industries, and even professional occupations. The analysis of manual work, particularly materials handling tasks, remains an active domain of ergonomics research and practice. Many of the task-analytic tools used for workplace analysis are rooted in the philosophy of dividing work into elements, analyzing the individual elements, and synthesizing the results into conclusions about the entire job, including the risk of contracting musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The authors discuss the notion that the nature of modern work, which is characterized by multiple tasks in a complex time pattern, and the complex nature of MSDs, which are influenced by biomechanical as well as psychological, political, and economic factors, may limit the effectiveness of classical task analytic techniques in preventing MSDs.

  • 4.
    Flodgren, Gerd
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine Unit, Umeå, Sweden.
    Heiden, Marina
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Umeå, Sweden.
    Lyskov, Eugene
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Crenshaw, Albert G.
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Characterization of a laboratory model of computer mouse use: applications for studying risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders2007In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 213-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present study, we assessed the wrist kinetics (range of motion, mean position, velocity and mean power frequency in radial/ulnar deviation, flexion/extension, and pronation/supination) associated with performing a mouse-operated computerized task involving painting rectangles on a computer screen. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of the painting task on subjective perception of fatigue and wrist position sense. The results showed that the painting task required constrained wrist movements, and repetitive movements of about the same magnitude as those performed in mouse-operated design tasks. In addition, the painting task induced a perception of muscle fatigue in the upper extremity (Borg CR-scale: 3.5, p<0.001) and caused a reduction in the position sense accuracy of the wrist (error before: 4.6 degrees , error after: 5.6 degrees , p<0.05). This standardized painting task appears suitable for studying relevant risk factors, and therefore it offers a potential for investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms behind musculoskeletal disorders related to computer mouse use.

  • 5.
    Heiden, Marina
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Zetterberg, Camilla
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Trunk and upper arm postures in paper mill work2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 70, p. 90-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to assess postures andmovements of the trunk and upper arm during paper mill work, and to determinethe extent to which they differ depending on method of assessment. For each oftwenty-eight paper mill workers, postures and movements were assessed duringthree full shifts using inclinometer registration and observation from video. Summary metrics for each shift, e.g.,10th, 50th, and 90th posture percentile, were averagedacross shifts and across workers. In addition, the standard deviation between workers,and the standard deviation between shifts within worker were computed. The resultsshowed that trunk and arm postures during paper mill work were similar to otheroccupations involving manual materials handling, but the velocity of armmovements were lower. While postures determined by inclinometry and observationwere similar on a group level, substantial differences were found betweenresults obtained by the two methods for individual workers, particularly for extremepostures. Thus, measurements by either method on individuals or small groupsshould be interpreted with caution.

  • 6.
    Holtermann, Andreas
    et al.
    National Research Centre for the Working Environment (NRCWE), Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Schellewald, Vera
    German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), Köln, Germany; Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA), Sankt Augustin, Germany.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Gupta, Nidhi
    National Research Centre for the Working Environment (NRCWE), Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Pinder, Andrew
    HSE's Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), Buxton, Derbyshire, United Kingdom.
    Punakallio, Anne
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland.
    Veiersted, Kaj Bo
    National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway.
    Weber, Britta
    Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA), Sankt Augustin, Germany.
    Takala, Esa-Pekka
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland.
    Draicchio, Francesco
    National Institute for Insurance Against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Rome, Italy.
    Enquist, Henrik
    Lund University, Skane Medical Services, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund, Sweden.
    Desbrosses, Kevin
    French National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (INRS), Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.
    Garcia Sanz, Maria Penahora
    Spanish National Institute for Safety and Hygiene at Work (INSHT), Madrid, Spain.
    Malinska, Marzena
    Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB), Warszawa, Poland.
    Villar, Maria
    Spanish National Institute for Safety and Hygiene at Work (INSHT), Madrid, Spain.
    Wichtl, Michael
    Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (AUVA), Wien, Austria.
    Strebl, Michaela
    Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (AUVA), Wien, Austria.
    Forsman, Mikael
    Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm, Sweden.
    Lusa, Sirpa
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland.
    Tokarski, Tomasz
    Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB), Warszawa, Poland.
    Hendriksen, Peter
    National Research Centre for the Working Environment (NRCWE), Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Ellegast, Rolf
    Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA), Sankt Augustin, Germany.
    A practical guidance for assessments of sedentary behavior at work: a PEROSH initiative2017In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 63, p. 41-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sedentary behavior is defined as sitting or lying with low energy expenditure. Humans in industrialized societies spend an increasing amount of time in sedentary behaviors every day. This has been associated with detrimental health outcomes. Despite a growing interest in the industrialized world in the health effects of sedentary behavior at work, associations remain unclear, plausibly due to poor and diverse methods for assessing sedentary behavior. Thus, good practice guidance for researchers and practitioners on how to assess occupational sedentary behavior are needed.

    The aim of this paper is to provide a practical guidance for practitioners and researchers on how to assess occupational sedentary behavior.

    Ambulatory systems for use in field applications (wearables) are a promising approach for sedentary behavior assessment. Many different small-size consumer wearables, with long battery life and high data storage capacity are commercially available today. However, no stand-alone commercial system is able to assess sedentary behavior in accordance with its definition. The present paper offers decision support for practitioners and researchers in selecting wearables and data collection strategies for their purpose of study on sedentary behavior.

    Valid and reliable assessment of occupational sedentary behavior is currently not easy. Several aspects need to be considered in the decision process of how to assess sedentary behavior. There is a need for development of a cheap and easily useable wearable for assessment of occupational sedentary behavior by researchers and practitioners.

  • 7.
    Jackson, Jennie A.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Liv, Per
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Centre for Research and Development, Uppsala University/Region Gävleborg, Gävle.
    Observer performance in estimating upper arm elevation angles under ideal viewing conditions when assisted by posture matching software2016In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 55, p. 208-215Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Selecting a suitable body posture measurement method requires performance indices of candidate tools. Such data are lacking for observational assessments made at a high degree of resolution. The aim of this study was to determine the performance (bias and between- and within-observer variance) of novice observers estimating upper arm elevation postures assisted by posture matching software to the nearest degree from still images taken under ideal conditions. Estimates were minimally biased from true angles: the mean error across observers was less than 2°. Variance between observers was minimal. Considerable variance within observers, however, underlined the risk of relying on single observations. Observers were more proficient at estimating 0°and 90° postures, and less proficient at 60°. Thus, under ideal visual conditions observers, on average, proved proficient at high resolution posture estimates; further investigation is required to determine how non-optimal image conditions, as would be expected from occupational data, impact proficiency.

  • 8.
    Jackson, Jennie
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Wahlström, Jens
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden .
    Liv, Per
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Centre for Research and Development, Uppsala University/County Council of Gävleborg, Gävle, Sweden .
    Forsman, Mikael
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden .
    Digging deeper into the assessment of upper arm elevation angles using standard inclinometry2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 51, p. 102-103Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Jackson, Jennie
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Wahlström, Jens
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University.
    Liv, Per
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Centre for Research and Development, Uppsala University/County Council of Gävleborg.
    Forsman, Mikael
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.
    Is what you see what you get? Standard inclinometry of set upper arm elevation angles2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 47, p. 242-252Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research suggests inclinometers (INC) underestimate upper arm elevation. This study was designed to quantify possible bias in occupationally relevant postures, and test whether INC performance could be improved using calibration.

    Participants were meticulously positioned in set arm flexion and abduction angles between 0° and 150°. Different subject-specific and group-level regression models comprising linear and quadratic components describing the relationship between set and INC-registered elevation were developed using subsets of data, and validated using additional data.

    INC measured arm elevation showed a downward bias, particularly above 60°.  INC data adjusted using the regression models were superior to un-adjusted data; a subject-specific, two-point calibration based on measurements at 0° and 90° gave results closest to the ‘true’ set angles.

    Thus, inclinometer measured arm elevation data required calibration to arrive at ‘true’ elevation angles. Calibration to a common measurement scale should be considered when comparing arm elevation data collected using different methods.

  • 10.
    Jackson, Jennie
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Consistent individual motor variability traits demonstrated by females performing a long-cycle assembly task under conditions differing in temporal organisation2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Low motor variability (MV) during repetitive work has shown association with higher risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Whether consistent individual MV characteristics exist across working conditions remains unknown. This study aimed to determine if individual MV traits were consistent during complex assembly work performed under conditions differing in temporal organisation.

    Fifteen women performed cyclic-assembly under four conditions differing in pace and organisation (line-type, batch-type). Variability of trapezius muscle activity and upper arm elevation was quantified. Total MV variance was partitioned into components attributable to subjects, days and conditions.

    For all metrics, a non-zero between-subjects variance was found, indicating consistent individual MV traits across conditions. Variance between subjects was higher for EMG MV metrics compared with kinematic metrics.

    Our results showed individuals exhibited consistent MV traits across working conditions differing in pace and production process, and support continued research into MV as a possible individual risk factor for MSDs.

  • 11. Johnsson, Christina
    et al.
    Kjellberg, Katarina
    Kjellberg, Anders
    University of Gävle, Department of Technology and Built Environment, Ämnesavdelningen för inomhusmiljö.
    A direct observation instrument for assessment of nurses’ patient transfer technique (DINO)2004In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 591-601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this project was to develop a direct observation instrument to assess the work technique of nursing personnel during patient transfers and to test the validity and reliability of the instrument. An expert group developed this instrument, called DINO (Direct Nurse Observation instrument for assessment of work technique during patient transfers), which contains 16 items divided into three phases of a transfer: the preparation, performance and result phases. To quantify the assessments a scoring system was constructed, giving an overall score for each transfer, depending on the level of musculoskeletal health and safety. Four observers assessed 45 patient transfers at hospital wards and showed in an evaluation that the inter-observer reliability and criterion-related validity of DINO was satisfactory. The assessments with the DINO instrument are done directly when the transfer occurs, without costly equipment. Therefore, it has a wide range of applications. For example, when evaluating training in work technique or when identifying an unsafe work technique as a risk factor for musculoskeletal problems in epidemiological studies. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 12. Kazmierczak, Karolina
    et al.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Belastningsskadecentrum.
    Forsman, Mikael
    Winkel, Jørgen
    An integrated analysis of ergonomics and time consumption in Swedish 'craft-type' car disassembly.2005In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 263-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Car disassembly is at the edge of extensive rationalisations due to increased legislative demands for recycling. This study focused on (1) assessing current mechanical exposures (physical work loads) for comparison with future rationalised systems, with particular emphasis on time aspects, (2) analysing disassembly work in terms of time consumption and exposures in constituent tasks as defined by a loss analysis technique, and (3) predicting the consequences of car disassembly rationalisation for mechanical exposures. The study showed that disassembly implied pronounced circulatory loads, and that more walking and higher lumbar peak loads were found than in studies of assembly work. Value-adding tasks comprised 30% of the total working time, and implied higher postural exposures for the head, arm, trunk and wrist, as well as less opportunities to recover, as compared to non-value-adding tasks. Organisational-type rationalisations can be expected to increase the time spent in value-adding work, thus increasing local exposures for the average worker, while a concurrent increase in mechanisation level might reduce circulatory exposures, the amount of walking, and peak lumbar loads.

  • 13.
    Kelson, Denean M.
    et al.
    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA.
    Trapezius muscle activity variation during computer work performed by individuals with and without shoulder-neck pain2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 81, article id 102908Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aimed at determining the extent to which individuals with neck-shoulder pain and non-symptomatic individuals differ in muscle activation patterns, when performing computer work, as quantified by exposure variation analysis (EVA). As a secondary aim, we also aimed to quantify the day-to-day reliability of EVA variables describing trapezius muscle activation in a non-symptomatic control group. Thirteen touch-typing computer users (pain: n=5, non-symptomatic: n=8) completed three pre-selected computer tasks in the laboratory.

    Upper trapezius muscle activity was recorded using electromyography and analyzed using EVA with five amplitude and five duration categories. Individuals with neck-shoulder pain spent less time at low amplitudes and exhibited longer uninterrupted periods of muscle activation compared to their non-symptomatic counterparts. Thus, non-symptomatic workers tended to switch between exposure levels more often than individuals with pain. For a majority of EVA variables, ICCs ranged from 0.6 to 0.9, and between-days coefficients of variation were between 0.4 and 2.2.

  • 14.
    Kietrys, David
    et al.
    School of Health Related Professions, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
    Gerg, Michael
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, Harcum College; Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University .
    Dropkin, Jonathan
    Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology, and Prevention, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
    Gold, Judith
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Public Health, Temple University.
    Mobile input device type, texting style and screen size influence upper extremity and trapezius muscle activity, and cervical posture while texting2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 50, p. 98-104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study aim was to determine the effects of input device type, texting style, and screen size on upper extremity muscle activity and neck and wrist posture during a short texting task in college students. Users of a physical keypad produced greater thumb and wrist extensor muscle force than when texting with a touch screen; using a touch screen required greater wrist extension. Texting on either device produced greater finger flexor and wrist extensor muscle force and greater radial deviation when 1 hand/thumb was used, compared to both hands/thumbs. As touch screen size increased, more participants held the device on their lap, and there was a trend for greater muscle force in finger flexors, wrist extensors, and trapezius, and greater wrist extension, ulnar deviation, and cervical spine flexion. Future research can help inform whether the ergonomic stressors observed during texting are associated with the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

  • 15. Long, Jennifer
    et al.
    Toomingas, Allan
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Forsman, Mikael
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Glimne, Susanne
    Helland, Magne
    Hemphälä, Hillevi
    Horgen, Gunnar
    Logadottir, Asta
    Nylén, Per
    Osterhaus, Werner
    Richter, Hans
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Schiotz Thorud, Hanne-Mari
    Vuorenmaa, Nina
    Zetterberg, Camilla
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Zetterlund, Christina
    Örebro Universitet.
    A definition of visual ergonomics2014In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 1263-1264Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Diversity and variation in biomechanical exposure: What is it, and why would we like to know?2006In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 37, no 4, p. 419-427Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Trends in global working life suggest that the occurrence of jobs characterized by long-lasting low-level loads or repetitive operations is increasing. More physical "variation" is commonly believed to be a remedy against musculoskeletal disorders in such jobs. One aim of the present paper was to shortly review the validity of this conviction. An examination of the available epidemiologic literature pointed out that the effectiveness of initiatives like job rotation or more breaks is weakly supported by empirical evidence, and only for short-term psychophysical outcomes. Only a limited number of studies have been devoted to physical variation, and concepts and metrics for variation in biomechanical exposure are not well developed. Thus, as a second objective, the paper proposes a framework for investigating and evaluating aspects of exposure variation, based on explicit definitions of variation as "the change in exposure across time" and diversity as "the extent that exposure entities differ". Operational methods for assessing these concepts are also discussed.

  • 17.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Liv, Per
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Wahlström, Jens
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Cost-efficient measurement strategies for posture observations based on video recordings2013In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 609-617Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Assessment of workingpostures by observation is a common practice in ergonomics. The present studyinvestigated whether monetary resources invested in a video-based posture observationstudy should preferably be spent in collecting many video recordings of thework and have them observed once by one observer, or in having multipleobservers rate postures repeatedly from fewer videos. The study addressed thisquestion from a practitioner’s perspective by focusing two plausible scenarios:documenting the mean exposure of one individual, and of a specific occupationalgroup. Using a data set of observed working postures among hairdressers, empiricalvalues of posture variability, observer variability, and costs for recordingand observing one video were entered into equations expressing the total costof data collection and the information (defined as 1/SD) provided by theresulting estimates of two variables: percentage time with the arm elevated<15 degrees and >90 degrees. Sixteen measurement strategies involving 1-4observers repeating their posture ratings 1-4 times were examined for budgetsup to €2000.  For both posture variablesand in both the individual and group scenario, the most cost-efficient strategyat any specific budget was to engage 3-4 observers and/or having observer(s)rate postures multiple times each. Between 17% and 34% less information wasproduced when using the commonly practiced approach of having one observer ratea number of video recordings one time each. We therefore recommend observationalposture assessment to be based on video recordings of work, since this allowsfor multiple observations; and to allocate monetary resources to repeated observationsrather than many video recordings.

  • 18.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Paquet, Victor
    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.
    The ability of limited exposure sampling to detect effects of interventions that reduce the occurrence of pronounced trunk inclination2010In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 295-304Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ergonomics interventions often focus on reducing exposure in those parts of the job with the highest exposure levels, while leaving other parts unattended. A successful intervention will thus change the form of the job exposure distribution. This disqualifies standard methods for assessing the ability of various exposure measurement strategies to correctly detect the intervention effect on mean job exposure. This study used a non-parametric simulation procedure to evaluate the relationship between the number of measurements collected during a self-paced manufacturing job undergoing ergonomics interventions of varying effectiveness and the probability of correctly determining whether and to which extent the interventions reduced the overall occurrence of trunk flexion. Sixteen video-recordings taken at random times on multiple days for each of 3 workers were used to estimate the time distribution of each worker's exposure to trunk flexion of at least 20°. Nine ergonomics intervention scenarios were simulated in which the upper 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 of the exposure distribution was reduced by 10%, 30% and 50%. Ten exposure measurement strategies were explored, collecting from 1 to 10 pre- and post-intervention exposure samples. For each worker, intervention scenario and sampling strategy, data were bootstrapped from the measured (pre-intervention) and simulated (post-intervention) exposure distributions to develop empirical data of the estimated intervention effect. Results showed that for the one to three most effective intervention scenarios, depending on worker, one to four pre- and post-intervention exposure samples were sufficient to reach an 80% probability of detecting that the intervention did, indeed, have an effect. However, even for these effective scenarios, seven or more samples were needed to obtain a probability larger than 50% of estimating the magnitude of the intervention effect to within ±50% of its true size. For less effective interventions, limited exposure sampling led to low probabilities of detecting any intervention effect, let alone its correct size.

  • 19.
    Mixter, Susanna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Lindfors, Petra
    Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Dimberg, Kenth
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Science, Biology.
    Jahncke, Helena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Lyskov, Eugene
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hallman, David
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Stress-related responses to alternations between repetitive physical work and cognitive tasks of different difficulties2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This experimental study aimed to determine the extent to which a repetitive physical task alternatingwith a cognitive task (CT) influences stress responses and whether the CT difficulty is important. Fifteen women performed three sessions of 10 consecutive work bouts, each including a seven-minutere petitive physical task and a three-minute CT at either of three difficulty levels. Stress-related responses were assessed using heart rate variability, blood pressure, salivary alpha-amylase, salivary cortisol, perceived stress and cognitive performance.The alternating work did not result in any marked increase in perceived stress or changes in stressresponses. CT difficulty did not influence stress responses (all p>0.05), apart from alpha-amylase which was higher during the easiest CT (F= 5.34, p= 0.02). Thus, introducing cognitive work bouts into repetitive physical work did not result in increased levels of stress, suggesting this approach to be viable in job rotation.

  • 20.
    Palmerud, Gunnar
    et al.
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Forsman, Mikael
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Neumann, Patrick
    Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
    Winkel, Jörgen
    Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Mechanical exposure implications of rationalization: A comparison of two flow strategies in a Swedish manufacturing plant2012In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 1110-1121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this case study was to (1) investigate differences in mechanical exposure (i.e. mechanical forces arising in the body of the operator) between two production strategies: long-cycle parallelised flow assembly (OLD) and conventional serial flow assembly (NEW), and (2) estimate potential changes in job exposure as a consequence of waste reduction when rationalising a line system.

    Data on postures, movements and whole body exposure were collected during an ordinary working shift, by means of video recordings synchronised to direct technical measurements of six professional operators.

    The results revealed the machine paced NEW system to have slower movements with less time spent in movements of high velocity compared to the self-paced OLD system. No significant differences were found between time-median posture levels. ‘Disturbances’ in the NEW system offered lower mechanical risk exposures compared to direct assembly work. Modelling the removal of wasteful ‘disturbances’ revealed both an increase in risk-implying fast movements and decrease in recovery-implying periods at low velocity – effectively isolating a work intensification. This study helps expose the complex relationship between rationalizations and mechanical exposure for system operators

  • 21.
    Straker, Leon
    et al.
    School of Physiotherapy, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Abbott, Rebecca
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Heiden, Marina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Toomingas, Allan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Sit-stand desks in call centres: associations of use and ergonomics awareness with sedentary behavior2013In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 517-522Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. Sedentary behavior is an independent risk factor for obesity, diabetes, and all cause mortality. With adults in occupational settings spending two thirds or more of their time in sedentary behavior, novel strategies are required to intervene with occupational sitting. To investigate whether or not use of sit-stand desks and awareness of the importance of postural variation and breaks are associated with the pattern of sedentary behavior in office workers.

    Method. The data came from a cross-sectional observation study of Swedish call centre workers. Inclinometers recorded ‘seated’ or ‘standing/walking’ episodes of 131 operators over a full work shift. Differences in sedentary behavior based on desk type and awareness of the importance of posture variation and breaks were assessed by non-parametric analyses.

    Results. 90 (68.7%) operators worked at a sit-stand desk. Working at a sit-stand desk, as opposed to a sit desk, was associated with less time seated (78.5 vs 83.8%, p=0.010), and less time taken to accumulate 5 minutes of standing/walking (36.2 vs 46.3 minutes, p=0.022), but no significant difference to sitting episode length or the number of switches between sitting and standing/walking per hour. Ergonomics awareness was not associated with any sedentary pattern variable among those using a sit-stand desk.

    Conclusion. Use of sit-stand desks was associated with better sedentary behavior in call centre workers, however ergonomics awareness did not enhance the effect. Further investigation into how best to intervene with occupational sitting is required.

  • 22.
    Trask, Catherine
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Rostami, Mehdi
    School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
    Partly visible periods in posture observation from video: prevalence and effect on summary estimates of postures in the job2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 49, p. 63-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the extent to which observers rate clearly visible postures on video differently from postures that are only partly visible, and whether this would have an effect on full-shift posture summaries. Trunk and upper arm postures were observed from 10,413 video frames representing 80 shifts of baggage handling; observers reported whether postures were fully or only partly visible.  Postures were summarized for each shift into several standard metrics using all available data, only fully visible frames, or only partly visible frames. 78% of trunk and 71% of upper arm postural observations were inferred.  When based on all data, mean and 90th percentile trunk postures were 1.3° and 5.4° lower, respectively, than when based only on fully visible situations.  For the arm; differences in mean and 90thpercentile were 2.5° and 8.1°.  Daily posture summaries can, thus, be significantly influenced by whether partly visible postures are included or not

  • 23.
    Trask, Catherine
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Rostami, Mehdi
    Collaborative Biostatistics Program, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
    Heiden, Marina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Observer variability in posture assessment from video recordings: the effect of partly visible periods2017In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 60, p. 275-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Observers rank partly visible postures on video frames differently than fully visible postures, but it’s not clear if this is due to differences in observer perception. This study investigated the effect of posture visibility on between-observer variability in assessments of trunk and arm posture.  Trained observers assessed trunk and arm postures from video recordings of 84 pulp mill shifts using a work sampling approach; postures were also categorized as ‘fully’ or ‘partly’ visible.  Between-worker, between-day, and between-observer variance components and corresponding confidence intervals were calculated. Although no consistent gradient was seen for the right upper arm, trunk posture showed smaller between-observer variance when all observers rated a posture as fully visible. This suggests that, partly- visible data, especially when observers disagree as to the level of visibility, introduces more between-observer variability when compared to fully visible data.  Some previously-identified differences in daily posture summaries may be related to this phenomenon.

  • 24. van der Beek, Allard J
    et al.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Belastningsskadecentrum.
    Windhorst, Judith
    Burdorf, Alex
    An evaluation of methods assessing the physical demands of manual lifting in scaffolding.2005In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 213-222Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Four methods assessing the physical demands of manual lifting were compared. The scaffolding job was evaluated and three distinct scaffolding tasks were ranked using: (1) the revised NIOSH lifting equation (NIOSH method), (2) lifting guidelines for the Dutch construction industry (Arbouw method), (3) rapid appraisal of the NIOSH lifting equation (practitioners' method), and (4) systematic observations. For the three first-mentioned methods the same dataset was used; observation took place in a different setting in the same company. At job level, all methods indicated that ergonomic interventions are required to protect scaffolders from an increased risk for low back pain. The NIOSH, Arbouw and practitioners' method resulted in a similar ranking order of tasks (transport>construction>dismantlement). In contrast, the observational method gave transport the lowest ranking. The underlying cause was probably that the observational method is more sensitive to durations of tasks and lifting within tasks than the three other methods.

  • 25.
    van der Beek, Allard
    et al.
    Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Burdorf, Alex
    Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam.
    Efficient assessment of exposure to manual lifting using company data2013In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 360-365Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this study, based on an extensive dataset on manual materials handling during scaffolding, was to explore whether routinely collected company data can be used to estimate exposure to manual lifting.The number of manual lifts of scaffold parts while constructing/dismantling scaffolds was well predicted by the number of scaffolders in the team and the type of worksite, in combination with company data of either the number of scaffold parts or the scaffold volume. The proportion of explained variance in the number of lifts ranged from 77% to 92%, depending on the variables in the model. Data on scaffold parts and scaffold volume can easily be obtained from the company’s administration, since this is its usual paperwork supporting logistics and customer invoicing, respectively.We conclude that company data can be a promising source of information for ergonomic practitioners and researchers, to support assessment of manual lifting in scaffolding.

  • 26.
    Waleh Åström, Amanda
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Heiden, Marina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Strömberg, Annika
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.
    Uncertainty in monetary cost estimates for assessing working postures using inclinometry, observation or self-report2018In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 71, p. 73-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To assess uncertainty in cost estimates for collecting posture data by inclinometry, observations and self-report.

    Method: In a study addressing physical workloads at a paper mill, costs were calculated for measuring postures of twenty-eight workers during three shifts. Uncertainty in costs was assessed for all three methods as the range between an assumed best case (lowest cost) and worst case (highest cost) using scenario analysis.

    Results: The cost for observation was larger, but also more uncertain (€16506 and €89552 in the best and worst case, respectively) than that of inclinometry (€7613 - €45896). Self-report costs were both lower and less uncertain (€3743 - €23368).

    Conclusions: The extent of uncertainty in cost estimates implies that observation could be less expensive than inclinometry, e.g., in a scenario where experienced observers could use existing software, while inclinometers would have to be purchased. We propose adding uncertainty assessments to cost estimates when selecting a method for measuring working postures, and offer guidance in how to proceed in a specific setting.

  • 27.
    Wells, Richard
    et al.
    Kinesiology Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada; Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Canada.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Medbo, Lars
    Department of Logistics and Transportation, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Winkel, Jörgen
    National Research Centre for Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark and Department of Work Science, Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Time - a key issue for musculoskeletal health and manufacturing2007In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 38, no 6, p. 733-744Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Time is a key issue for both ergonomists and engineers when they engage in production system interventions. While not their primary purpose, the actions of engineers have major effects on biomechanical exposure; possibly of much greater magnitude than many ergonomics interventions. This paper summarises the aims, actions and tools of engineers and ergonomists, emphasising time-related outcomes. Activities of the two groups when attempting to manipulate time aspects of work may be contradictory; engineers wishing to improve production and ergonomists aiming at better health as well as contributing to production. Consequently, tools developed by ergonomists for assessing time aspects of work describe rest patterns, movement velocities or daily duration of exposures, while engineering tools emphasise time-efficient production. The paper identifies measures that could be used to communicate time-relevant information between engineers and ergonomists. Further cooperation between these two stakeholders as well as research on the topic are needed to enable ergonomists to have a larger impact on the design of production systems.

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