Skip to main content

About this book

This book presents the proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018), held on August 26-30, 2018, in Florence, Italy. By highlighting the latest theories and models, as well as cutting-edge technologies and applications, and by combining findings from a range of disciplines including engineering, design, robotics, healthcare, management, computer science, human biology and behavioral science, it provides researchers and practitioners alike with a comprehensive, timely guide on human factors and ergonomics. It also offers an excellent source of innovative ideas to stimulate future discussions and developments aimed at applying knowledge and techniques to optimize system performance, while at the same time promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals. The proceedings include papers from researchers and practitioners, scientists and physicians, institutional leaders, managers and policy makers that contribute to constructing the Human Factors and Ergonomics approach across a variety of methodologies, domains and productive sectors.

This volume includes papers addressing the following topics: Aging, Gender and Work, Anthropometry, and Ergonomics for Children and Education.

Table of Contents




Impact of Exercise and Ergonomics on the Perception of Fatigue in Workers: A Pilot Study

The supervised implementation of psychophysiological recovery breaks and physical exercise in the workplace can be motivational factors for employees to be productive and remain for a longer time at work2. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether ergonomic conditions and exercise programs can reduce fatigue before, during and after work hours. In general, participants that conducted psychophysiological recovery breaks and an exercise program showed less fatigue compared with those that did not perform the program, principally in the times during and after work hours. However, the results showed no differences between groups that exercised either with or without psychophysiological recovery breaks, suggesting that the practice of exercise can be as important as rest. In conclusion, psychophysiological recovery breaks, ergonomic conditions and exercise programs may help to reduce fatigue during and after work hours.

A. C. H. Pinetti, N. C. H. Mercer, Y. A. Zorzi, F. Poli, E. Nogiri, A. C. Lima, M. R. Oliveira

The Use of Technology as a Creative Means of Ergonomics to Support the Realization of Activities in an Aging Population: A Review of the Literature

Given the aging of the population in most Western countries, the challenges to support the daily activities of the aging population are of interest to ergonomists. The use of innovative technologies to support older people when they encounter difficulties in carrying out their daily activities is already possible. The purpose of this presentation is to provide insights into what is known to date in the use of assistive technologies for an aging population. To do this, a synthesis of knowledge has been realized. Peer reviewed papers of good scientific quality was reviewed (n = 39). Considering the development of ergonomically-based technology products, a noticeable difference between the design and usage objectives has been noted. This implies that stakeholders, such as ergonomists, therapists do not use technology in the same direction for which it was designed. In addition, it is possible to note that the least explored objectives are those related to the concept of development and capacity optimization of the elderly. Thus, the proposal of an integrative concept to document both the development, use, introduction and evaluation of assistive technologies for the elderly can be very interesting for the discipline and will be discussed in this article.

Pierre-Yves Therriault, Galaad Lefay, Marie-Michèle Lord, Alexe Desaulnier

How Age and Pace of Work Affect Movement Variability During Repetitive Assembly Tasks

During production, companies aim to ensure optimal productivity and quality. With this in mind, workstation designers tend to assume that operators will perform tasks in a uniform manner, and tend not to include movement variability parameters in their designs. The aim of this study was to characterise movement variability during repetitive assembly tasks performed at a defined pace. 62 right-handed men in three different age groups were asked to affix a handle on a base with two nuts at two different paces. Particular attention was paid to how two factors influenced movement variability: the operator’s and the pace of work. Variability was observed in assembly way of doing when the procedure was not imposed. The variability observed during assembly, as performed for this study, was unaffected by operators’ age or the pace of work. No effect of variability was observed on the duration of assembly cycles, nor on the adaptation to changes in pace. In contrast, variability allowed operators alternatives to repetitive movement which could potentially exert strain on the locomotor system. Allowing operators the possibility to spontaneously use variable movements during repetitive tasks appears to be an important element to consider when designing workstations.

Martine A. Gilles, Clarisse Gaudez, Jonathan Savin, Aurélie Remy, Olivier Remy, Pascal Wild

Identifying Factors Related to the Estimation of Near-Crash Events of Elderly Drivers

This study attempted to identify factors associated with driving behavior of elderly drivers to assess their safety and estimate their risk during naturalistic driving. We performed binomial logistic regression using self-reported past crash involvement as a response variable to identify critical factors and provided an estimation model has 18 variables. However, applying driver category based on crash and near-crash events (CNCs) collected from naturalistic driving study employed on-dash cam instead of self-reported crash involvement to the previous model showed lower predictive performance (0.63 for sensitivity and 0.51 for specificity). This implies that the model based on self-reported crash experiences was difficult to detect for drivers with CNC during naturalistic driving. Then, we performed binomial logistic regression based on CNC involvement and indicated another model, where the predictive performance was improved, with 0.81 for sensitivity and 0.70 for specificity. To predict the number of CNCs as drivers’ risk, this study adopted Poisson regression analysis using nine variables selected from the second model. The analyses showed a plausible model and significant variables for the estimation of CNCs. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was one of the better predictor putting in this model, and showed the probability that lower performance associated with higher number of CNCs. This model for CNC estimation would be helpful for the development of safety programs for elderly drivers with possible incidents.

Misako Yamagishi, Takashi Yonekawa, Makoto Inagami, Toshihisa Sato, Motoyuki Aakamatsu, Hirofumi Aoki

The Use of Auditory Presentations in Assisting Older Adults for Processing Healthcare Information

The present study examined the extent to which different auditory presentations could assist the older adult to better retain browsed healthcare information as a function of sound orientation. 18 students from a local university (serving as a control) and 20 older adults aged over 65 from a local lifelong learning Center were recruited to participate in a 2 × 3 × 2 slit-plot factorial experiment where age, auditory display and sound orientation were manipulated as independent variables. The auditory display was a within-subject factor consisting of narration, earcon, and narration plus earcon. Sound orientation was a between-subject factor comprising treatment levels of presence and non-presence. Perusal performance was evaluated by recall hit rate and the subject’s preference. Preliminary results indicated that the older subject was significantly disadvantaged as compared to the young counterpart. Auditory information presented with sound orientation resulted in better recall performance. The narration plus earcon interface outperformed the other two auditory conditions in terms of recall hit rates and subjective preference. Both the older and young groups reported that inclusion of auditory display improved their memory and attention with earcon plus narration receiving the most favorable preference. Sound orientation, however, was not considered by both age groups as resulting in perceived assistance.

Dyi-Yih Michael Lin, Yuan-Ju Hung

Human Factors for Dementia: Evidence-Based Design

Designing care environments for people living with dementia is a complex challenge as the key stakeholder may have difficulty communicating their capabilities, limitations and preferences. This paper describes the use of evidence-based design personas in a multi-disciplinary team with architects and chartered human factors specialists. Four individual personas (Alison, Barry, Christine and David) and a couple persona (Chris and Sally) were used to bring the voices of the people living with different stages of dementia to the design process. Their changing/fluctuating symptoms were communicated in two formats (wheel and matrix) within an inclusive design process to adapt a Victorian semi-detached house. The demonstrator house presents evidence-based design, adaptation and support solutions to support people living with dementia to age well at home.

Charlotte Jais, Sue Hignett, Eef Hogervorst

How Do Municipal Workers Perceive the Changes in Activity Demands, Based on Age?

Ageing is a complex and natural process that has been extensively studied. Several studies indicate that high physical exposure and job strain in midlife were strongly associated with the severity of disability in later life. In order to characterize the activity demands of the work, according to age, a prospective study was designed. In 2015 the sample included 885 participants and, in 2017, the follow up comprised 1167 participants. A self-administered questionnaire was used. The questionnaire was composed of questions related to sociodemographic characteristics, as well as related to the physical activity demands, classified through a Likert scale of 5 points. The results found that the postural characteristics and manual handling of loads obtained more favourable results in the year 2017, with the categories never/seldom presenting higher percentages. However, when we evaluated the age distribution, older workers presented a higher percentage of physical demands in their work activity, in both moments of the study, such as manual handling loads between 1–4 kg, working with trunk flexion and rotation, and precision tasks. Also, older workers belong mainly to the operational assistant category and have fewer training opportunities. The results indicate that is necessary to implement strategies for age management, so that older workers can remain active and healthy.

C. A. Ribeiro, T. P. Cotrim, V. Reis, M. J. Guerreiro, S. M. Candeias, A. S. Janicas, M. Costa

User-Centered Design Process to Develop Motor Speech Disorder Treatment Assistive Tool

With the advent of an aging society, the number of people suffering from degenerative diseases, which often lead to communication disorders such as motor speech disorders (MSDs). Intensive and repeated practice is essential for individuals with MSDs. Because of work overload, speech and language therapists (SLTs) might cope with the excess load of treatment, which may lead to reduce of rehabilitation effects. Nowadays smart mobile devices such as the iPad and tablet PC have changed the way of therapy. Therefore, this study proposes the feasibility of assistive technology intervention through the user-centered design process in MSDs treatment. First, it uses Delphi expert assessment interviewing the SLTs to realize how they work about MSDs. Second, the SLTs define the weighting of requirements using the analytic hierarchy process. The most two important two criteria are: evaluate willing to practice, and easy to review the home exercises. Third, it transfers the requirements into design criteria and develop the assistive APP, MOUTH EXERCISE. SLTs can select and demonstrate correct video to the individuals instead of exercising their oral muscles. Finally, SLTs participate the usability evaluation to validate the APP. They suggest that MOUTH EXERCISE can not only as an assistive manner of speech therapy, but also reduce the workload of them. It concludes that the developed APP is a useful tool for STLs. In the future, it will develop home practice mode to enhance the rehabilitation motivation of individuals.

Hsin-Chang Lo, Bo-Kai Peng, Chia-Chen Li

Force Variability and Musculoskeletal Pain in Blue-Collar Workers

Blue-collar workers with physically demanding occupations have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders accompanied by pain. Previous research has suggested that reduced motor variability may increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Here we present preliminary data from an ongoing cross-sectional examination of physical performance in elderly manual workers. This paper includes data from 20 male workers (age 52–70 years). Handgrip force variability was measured using a digital hand dynamometer during an endurance trial where the workers exerted 30% of their maximal isometric contraction force until task failure. Absolute variability (standard deviation), relative variability (coefficient of variation), and the complexity of the force signal (sample entropy) were computed. The workers were dichotomized into two groups: no to mild pain/discomfort (No pain) and moderate to severe pain/discomfort (Pain) to investigate the effects of musculoskeletal pain on force variability. This dichotomy was done based on the rating of pain/discomfort within the last seven days, where workers reporting ≥3 score in the upper extremities were allocated to the pain group (Pain, n = 9, No pain, n = 11). No significant between-group differences in force variability during the endurance trial were found. Both absolute and relative variability increased significantly over time. These preliminary data do not support a difference in force variability between blue-collar workers with or without musculoskeletal pain or discomfort in the upper extremities.

Kristoffer Larsen Norheim, Jakob Hjort Bønløkke, Øyvind Omland, Afshin Samani, Pascal Madeleine

Aging and Hand Functions Declining: Assistive Technology Devices for Assistance in Daily Life Activities Performance

With the aging process several morphological changes occur in the human being. The upper limbs suffer a functional decline, beyond the possibility of developing diseases that occur as result of advancing age. All these factors contribute to the decay of functions that are important in the elderly’s lives, depriving some seniors of performing manual actions autonomously. Therefore, assistive technology (AT) devices become an alternative to lessen the effects of aging, it provides means for a more active participation of these individuals in different contexts and everyday situations, giving them access to a more independent life. Thus, the present study intended to gather some devices of assistive technology found in the literature that seek to support manual functions, especially those compatible with the needs of the elderly, and, consequently, assist people to carry out common tasks. To this end, the method used was a literature review in the main databases. The purpose of the review was to analyze the qualified bibliography and to identify the AT devices as potential aid in the performance of activities of daily living, focusing on manual functions. The devices have been classified by type (what parts of the upper limbs they are intended), the functions that enhance and the manual tasks they attend. The investigation provided the knowledge of recent studies that address relevant devices with potential in assist the senile population to recover the ability to undertake activities with the upper limbs, especially regarding manual grip and pinch, as well as the limb movement.

Bianca Marina Giordani, Milton José Cinelli

Falls from Tractors in Older Age: Risky Behaviors in a Group of Swedish and Italian Farmers Over 65

The frequent mounting and dismounting the tractor required by many farming operations increases the risk of falls, particularly for older farmers. The present study explored the risk factors related to tractor ingress and egress in older farmers from two countries with a different tradition in terms of safety culture: Sweden and Italy. Eighteen male farmers aged 65 + (8 from Skåne region, southern Sweden, and 10 from Piedmont region, northwestern Italy) were observed while mounting and dismounting their most used tractor, to investigate the routine behaviors adopted and to identify possible sources of risk of fall. The presence of three critical behaviors was recorded: the maintenance of three-point contact with the machine when entering and exiting the cab; facing the cab and the use of the last step when exiting. Farmers were also interviewed about their health status, attitudes toward safety, and perceived risks while performing the task. The results showed that similar unsafe behaviors were adopted by most of both Swedish and Italian participants; in particular, none of the farmers got off the tractor by facing the cab. Older farmers from both countries referred to age and previous experience as the major protective factors against falls, without acknowledging that new risks can rise from the age-related changes in their motor skills. The results raised some considerations about the need to develop targeted elderly-centered solutions to support the correct mounting/dismounting behaviors, both in the design of the machines and in information campaigns and training courses, which may have a cross-cultural validity.

Federica Caffaro, Peter Lundqvist, Margherita Micheletti Cremasco, Eva Göransson, Stefan Pinzke, Kerstin Nilsson, Eugenio Cavallo

Virtual Aging – Implementation of Age-Related Human Performance Factors in Ergonomic Vehicle Design Using the Digital Human Model RAMSIS

For user centered product design the application of digital human models has been widely established in automotive industry. These models are used to optimize the vehicle ergonomics in an early phase of the CAD design.The integrated human behavior models are based on experimental data of healthy average age people in general. Hence these models cannot be used to develop ergonomic human machine interfaces that are also suitable for ageing customers. Applying the current digital human engineering process to elderly occupants, however, is a requirement gaining importance with the demographic change in industrial countries.In order to fulfil this requirement, the most important human engineering applications of the digital human model RAMSIS were extended to take age-related human performance changes into account. A comprehensive literature review the research was conducted about age-related vision limits, acuity, glance eversion time, joint angle limits as well as joint strength over age.The results were transferred to the RAMSIS human model to extend the simulation database. The enlarged simulation database facilitates applying the current human engineering applications of RAMSIS to occupants with age-related restrictions.The differences in simulation results of different age groups were analyzed with respect to relevance and significance in the ergonomic vehicle development process. The automotive test use cases were set up for the criteria posture, reachability, force effort and visibility for occupant models in a vehicle model. The simulation results differ significantly between the age groups.Hence, the extended simulation methods of RAMSIS support human engineering applications for age-based automotive product planning.

Hans-Joachim Wirsching, Michael Spitzhirn

Aging Ebook: CIIP Silver Book on Aging and Work

Italy, like many other European countries, is experiencing a rapid aging of its workforce. Such phenomenon is due to demographic and economic factors as well as to the increase in retirement age. The partial replacement of retiring workers by younger ones cause two main problems: on the one hand, employers ignore which tasks to assign to aged workers; on the other hand, the workload of younger workers increase significantly.CIIP, i.e. the Italian Inter-Associative Prevention Council, involves professional and scientific societies whose members are either public or private occupational physicians, ergonomists or professionals in the field of occupational and environmental safety and health. These societies, according to their different functions and peculiarities, deal with ergonomic issues and approaches such as work organization, biomechanics, toxicology, also focusing on the relation between human beings, machines and the environment. CIIP set up a working group on the issue of “Aging and work” with the aim of analyzing the topic and proposing management methods for aging in workplace. We published a free E-book, available online, including a general part and a more specific one devoted to work in the healthcare sector.The CIIP Group actively promotes public meetings on the aging topic in the Italian territory.We provided physio-pathological information about aging in the workplace, taking into account the multiple approach defined by Illmarinen J and Others and highlighting resources and critical aspects of contemporary Italian contexts. Inspired by an interesting proposal and checklist by French INRS and by local researches and professionals of Clinica del Lavoro in Milan, the Group proposes risk assessment methods considering employees’ age together with their physical, mental and organizational ergonomic tasks. However, the Group underlines that workplace health promotion is necessary but not sufficient if a specific prevention plan to reduce risks is not implemented. It is therefore necessary to update the actual welfare support, allowing gradual retirement.

Olga Menoni, Rinaldo Ghersi, Susanna Cantoni

Early Detection of Fatigue Based on Heart Rate in Sedentary Computer Work in Young and Old Adults

Given the growing number of working elderly, monitoring fatigue developing at work is of utmost importance. In this study, 38 participants (18 elderly and 20 young adults) were recruited to perform a prolonged computer task including 240 cycles while their heart rate was measured. In each cycle, the participants memorized a random pattern of connected points then replicated the pattern by clicking on a sequence of points to complete an incomplete version of the pattern. Task performance in each cycle was calculated based on the accuracy and speed in clicking. After each 20 cycles (one segment), participant rated their perceived fatigue on Karolinska Sleepiness Likert scale (KSS). The mean and range of heart rate, HRM and HRR respectively, in each cycle were calculated and together with the performance were averaged across each segment. Statistical analysis revealed that HRR followed an increasing trend in both young and elderly groups as time on task (TOT) increased, p < 0.001. The HRM exhibited a tendency to increase with TOT in both groups, p = 0.063. The performance increased in the elderly group and fluctuated in the young group, p < 0.001. The KSS increased in both groups with TOT, p < 0.001. No interactions between TOT segments and groups were found in any of the measures except in case of performance indicating a higher performance for the young group with a fluctuating temporal pattern. The results provide insights on the feasibility of using heart rate as an index to monitor fatigue in both young and elderly computer users.

Ramtin Zargari Marandi, Pascal Madeleine, Nicolas Vuillerme, Øyvind Omland, Afshin Samani

Non-pharmacological Interventions for People with Dementia: Design Recommendations from an Ergonomics Perspective

Non-pharmacological interventions have been applied to manage Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). However, these interventions have not been assessed from an ergonomics perspective. Ergonomics has investigated the age-related capability changes in terms of sensory, cognition and movement aspects. This study aims to review the existing non-pharmacological interventions for BPSD targeting nursing home residents and generate design recommendations based on the domain of ergonomics in ageing. The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO were searched for studies which applied non-pharmacological interventions for treating BPSD in nursing home residents. A total of 67 studies met the inclusion criteria; from which 16 types of interventions were identified. Within these intervention types, the main capabilities required from the interventions for People with Dementia (PwD) were identified. The interventions were then categorized into sensory-, cognition-, and movement-oriented according to the main capabilities. Design recommendations were then generated for the interventions with knowledge from the domain of ergonomics in ageing.

Gubing Wang, Armagan Albayrak, Johan Molenbroek, Tischa van der Cammen

How to Help Older Adults Learn Smartphone Applications? A Case Study of Instructional Design for Video Training

Video training is a useful way for older adults to learn to use smartphone applications, but the instructional design of adapting age-related changes is necessary to improve learning effectiveness. This study investigates the influence of visual cues and tapping methods on older adults’ intention to use, ease of learning, satisfaction, and task completion time when learning how to use smartphone applications through instructional videos. Twenty-four older adults learned smartphone applications using two tapping methods (the tapping with/without validation method) on three types of instructional videos with different visual cues (red rectangle, cartoon finger, and real finger). The results indicated that use of a cartoon finger contributed to higher intention to use, higher ease of learning, higher satisfaction, and shorter task completion time compared with use of a red rectangle or a real finger. Moreover, older adults preferred the tapping with validation method rather than that without validation method. These findings will be a useful reference for designers of instructional videos and developers of smartphones.

Fengli Liu, Jia Zhou

Design as a Provocation to Support Discussion About Euthanasia: The Plug

Dementia affects 47 million people worldwide [1]. It is a collection or consequence of many illnesses with symptoms including deterioration in memory, thinking and behaviour; it is a terminal disease. The fear of dementia may lead people to signing an Advance Euthanasia Directive (AED). AEDs are rarely adhered to because the dementia symptoms conflict with the due care criteria; a person requesting euthanasia must be able to confirm the request at time of death and must be undergoing hopeless suffering. Once dementia has progressed, the euthanasia ‘wish’ can no longer be confirmed, and assessing suffering in a person with dementia is hard. This creates difficulties for physicians supporting patient wishes. Speculative Design is described as a way to prototype other realities [2]. This paper describes a Speculative Design to explore patient autonomy for end-of-life decisions in dementia. A short video was developed to imagine the AED as an implant that would trigger a swift and painless death, once the conditions described in the AED were reached. Data were collected at the DementiaLab conference in Dortmund, Germany, September 2017. The workshop was attended by 15 participants of varying ages and backgrounds. The results found that the Speculative Design had potential to aid discussion between stakeholders, without each party needing to be a specialist. It sparked debate, but with a caveat about the importance of boundaries for awareness of the wider context and sensitivity to inherent bias.

Marije De Haas, Gyuchan Thomas Jun, Sue Hignett

Aging Effects of Inner Character Space and Line Space of Japanese Language

This study used Japanese sentences to investigate how inner character space, line space, and reader age differences affect readability. Results can suggest good layout of sentences for older adults. Japanese sentence experiments revealed that adequate inner character, line space, and number of characters provide good readability.

Nana Itoh, Ken Sagawa

Digital Making as an Opportunity for Social Inclusion

Within the framework of the EU-funded project ‘Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY), we have explored the dynamics facilitating the acquisition of different competencies in this practice. Rooted in design and construction, the digital making activities often emphasize the acquisition of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, cross-disciplinarily and collaboration.Starting from the results of the Digital DIY project has come to light that the developed process can also facilitate inclusivity. The contemporary phenomenon of “digital making” linked to “make” enabled by digital technologies (e.g., Web 2.0, 3D printers) is a meaningful context for social inclusion through interpersonal productive activities.In this paper, we will first define such competencies as a result of a comparative study of the literature analysis. The analysis of the current scenario of digital DIY as a social innovation phenomenon enabled us to define a model through which it was possible to identify the fundamental dynamics and factors for skilling. The same model can allow the replication and adaptation of such dynamics into a different environment, such as the social inclusion.We will conclude with the proposal of transferring the skilling dynamics identified in digital DIY to promote social inclusion of elderly.The DiDIY co-design model, developed during the EU projects, includes the development of tools that facilitate the involvement of people in the design process merging digital making and skills improvement. The social empowerment and the individual creativity and self-improvement skills are crucial elements to avoid social exclusion.

Marita Canina, Carmen Bruno

Evidence Based Data for the Design of Rotary Control Elements for Fine Motor Adjustment Tasks with Respect to the Elderly User

With increasing age, the loss of sensorimotor skills plays an important role regarding human-machine interaction. With diminishing eyesight, it becomes increasingly difficult to operate an interface. Referring to this, presenting information via the haptic channel in critical situations can relieve the elderly user. Therefore two experimental studies were conducted. In both experimental studies the subjects had to perform a simple adjustment task with a rotary control element in the context of driving. In the first study optimal locking angle and operation torque values were detected. In the second study, elderly users had to perform adjustment tasks using control elements with varying torque curves. The purpose of this study was to identify which coding feature is suitable for marking a preferred value on a scale or for a menu change. Based on the first study, optimal locking angle and operation torque values are presented. The second study shows that elderly users prefer significant coding features to choose a preferred value or to perform a change. The combination of a rotation angle magnification and an increase in torque also leads to a better task performance. For the indication of a menu change elderly users prefer the combination of rotation angle magnification and torque increase.

Peter Schmid, Benedikt Janny, Thomas Maier

Evaluation of Comfortable Using Jerk Method During Transfer Caring

This paper focuses on the comfort of the care-receiver. In this study expert and non-expert caregiver in transfer caring with slide board are investigated. The device for 3-D motion analysis used in the experiment is MAC3D SYSTEM, an optical motion capture system manufactured by Motion Analysis Corporation. Coordinate data of each time of the each marker was collected from the data of motion capture. Data from reflection makers in-stalled on the head of the care-receiver was collected and recorded in this experiments. The transfer operation was divided into four processes by the difference of operation. The parameter Jerk in the Z direction over time in Process 3 (actual transport process) was evaluated. In physics, Jerk is the rate of change of acceleration and if Jerk=0, the direction of the acceleration would be changed. Too many changes of acceleration direction represent unsteady in the process of transferring the patient. Therefore, the stability of care-receiver during transfer caring was evaluated by the number of Jerk=0 in this study.

Ken Ikuhisa, Xiaodan Lu, Tomoko Ota, Hiroyuki Hamada, Noriyuki Kida, Akihiko Goto

Towards an Age-Differentiated Assessment of Physical Work Strain

Companies in different industries are all facing the same challenge: demographic change. This leads to a higher share of elderly workers in most workplaces. When designing workstations or evaluating risks at workplaces, it is necessary to take into account age-related changes in physical and sensory skills and in cognitive or mental capabilities. Although there is a lot of data available in literature concerning age-related changes in human performance prerequisites, only a few methods consider the factor age. For example, the REFA-method uses a factor considering age when calculation maximum forces. However most ergonomic standards and occupational risk assessment methods used in industry do not consider this data and the specific needs of an ageing workforce. The aim of this paper is to introduce a work evaluation framework which was developed based on literature and will be compared to practical findings from a field study conducted with a manufacturing company and a food retailer in Austria. Therefore, a three step approach was carried out: First the changes which humans experience when they get older were elaborated based on an extensive literature analysis and age-critical factors, that should be covered in ergonomic risk assessment methods, were derived. Second existing risk assessment methods that cover physical occupational risks were collated and examined, considering their coverage of age-relevant factors. Finally, all findings were combined to an age-differentiated workplace risk screening method. As a result, we developed a method that should allow to reveal existing problem-workplaces for elderly workers and point out the need for age-related adaption at them. Furthermore, it reveals existing age-appropriate workplaces, where workers should be able to work their whole working life.

Matthias Wolf, Christian Ramsauer

Social Medial as Facilitator of Self-value Realization for Elderly

Aging is a problem all over the world. It is a process involving many changes in physiology, psychology and society. “Active aging” has gradually become the world’s policy framework for coping with aging. On the one hand, it pays attention to the physical and mental health of the elderly. On the other hand, it fully explores the value of the elderly to the society. Intelligent technology development appears to be a lot of obstacles for the elderly, the elderly people feel helpless in the face of new technology, but if we can effectively use the advantages of intelligent technology, such as mobile technology to help the elderly properly adapt to the society, let them can enjoy the convenience of high-tech life. With the help of social media, elderly can enjoy better service and more ways can be created for them to realize their self-value and play their own values for the benefit of society. In this article, the author will show some cases of how to apply design thinking to product and service design in active aging, such as innovative service for the elderly through mobile Internet technology. Through deep user research and interviews with elderly and youngers, we found that some of the elderly have specialty in doing something, such as teaching English, knitting, playing instruments, photographing and so on. And on the other hand, some young people want to learn new skills from the elderly, so we can build a platform and service system that young people and elderly can communicate with each other. In this paper will describe one case studies of how to build a platform for elderly to decrease loneliness and empower elderly people and provide them with a sense of social involve and greater control and self-efficacy.

Dongjuan Xiao, Miaosen Gong

Spatial Optimization of Bedroom Area for Effective Elderly Patient Handling

Increasing population age has become a fact for most of the countries world over. The number of people aged 65 and above is estimated to increase by 65% in the next 25 years, with doubling of the number of people aged greater than 85 years. Ageing restricts many physical and cognitive abilities of the elderly. This demands greater attention towards healthcare of this section of the population.This study attempts to come up with ways to make best use of the space around the elderly patients especially in the bedroom area and various elements in it for better handling, more so if the persons are disabled or dependent for ambulation on others (caregivers and nurses). The course of this study started with investigation of points of bodily pain of caregivers and nurses while handling the elderly patients in constrained or non-customized spaces. This was accomplished using a Standard Nordic Questionnaire, validated by Kuroinka, to measure the prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) in caregivers at homes and nurses in hospitals. Further, assistance of a professional physiotherapist was sought to understand standard procedures of handling patients who are dependent on others for ambulation. Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) and REBA were carried out next, which used videography and photography of these procedures as a tool to evaluate postural stress during the procedures. Furthermore, Anthropometric Data Analysis was performed to decide the optimized space for the patient handling and transfer task. For all the calculations, Indian Anthropometric data was considered.Local hospitals of Jabalpur, India served as settings for this study. According to that, space requirement for the individual activities have been identified and derived for future design of bedrooms free space.

Priyanka Rawal

A Sustainable Working Life for All Ages – The swAge-Model

The demographic shift is fast becoming a global challenge and an important public health concern. The proportion of people over 65 years is currently 10% around the world, but it is expected to rise to 22% by the year 2050 [1]. Populations ageing rapidly is widely seen as one of the most powerful transformative forces affecting society over the next four decades [1–4]. The ageing population is probably one of the most significant threats to global wealth because of the potential strains it imposes on the robustness of social welfare, public health, and economic prosperity. The challenges and opportunities posed by this demographic shift are therefore of special interest to sustainable societies and require the implementation of policies to help people stay healthy and active while ageing, but also to work longer providing the welfare systems.

Kerstin Nilsson

Gender and Work


Occupational Well-Being of Policewomen in India and China: Scope of Ergonomic Design Interventions

Impact of environmental stress on occupation well-being of women engaged in police service requires thorough understanding, which is deemed obvious to inspire them to join police organization The objective of this study was to assess environmental stress at the workplace and consequences on occupational well-being of policewomen in two types of regions – Guwahati, (a Metro city of Assam, also its capital city) and Hangzhou, (China). The survey was conducted on 43 policewomen from All Women Police Station (AWPS) of Guwahati and 31 policewomen from Hangzhou city of China. The questionnaire was designed using standard procedures (including analysis of reliability and validity by Cronbach’s alpha) to analyses job stress and occupational well-being. This piece of research attempted to elucidate the real-time scenario and the need of corrective ergonomic design interventions, which when implemented, might reduce the workplace stress, thus making Indian police organizations more women-friendly.

Shilpi Bora, Debkumar Chakrabarti, Abhirup Chatterjee

Why Do We Often Forget Gender During Ergonomic Interventions?

The Université du Québec à Montréal has signed agreements with community groups providing access to help with research and training initiatives. In this context, a union-university partnership performed research aimed at improving occupational health and gender equality. Over its 17-year lifetime, researchers responded to twenty union requests for action-oriented ergonomics research on jobs marked by a gender division of tasks and health and safety risks. However, during several interventions, gender was “forgotten” and ergonomists concentrated on general health and safety issues, at least initially. Reasons for this blindness arise from workplace constraints but also from the very nature of ergonomics. Integrating observations of gender and other dimensions of social relations into ergonomic analysis and intervention is necessary, but not simple, and fraught with obstacles.

Karen Messing, Mélanie Lefrançois, Johanne Saint-Charles

Facets of the Precariousness of Women’s Work: Outsourcing and Informal Activity

Due to the exhaustion of the pattern of accumulation, the transformations in contemporary capitalism demonstrate the strengthening of neoliberalism, changes in the organization of work and individuals, especially in relation to women. It is known that flexibilization within the scope of work assumes multiple formulations, either by the new forms of hiring, use of time, remuneration of work, solution of conflicts, or by the way of thinking the organization of time and space of work. With regard to the gender cut in outsourcing and informality, the few studies that have been carried out show a difference between women and men, with women being subjected to a more insecure condition, with higher turnover, lower wages and a major noncompliance with labor rights. In view of the context presented, the objective was to analyze the precariousness of women’s work, in the outsourcing and informal activity instances observed in the work of outsourced school food handlers in the city of Campinas-SP, and in the scope of semi-jewels manufacture in the Municipality of Limeira-SP. These findings are the result of two researches carried out in 2017 by researchers from the FCA/UNICAMP Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Human and Applied Social Sciences. In both surveys it was possible to observe the harsh daily reality of several women who work through outsourced companies (in the case of school food handlers) or in their homes (in the manufacture of semi-jewels). These workers face situations like low pay, intensified work, bullying issues and precarious work environments.

Viviane Herculani Cardillo, Flávia Lima Traldi, Sandra F. Bezerra Gemma

Revealing the Hidden Processes Behind Discrimination Against Part-Time Teachers in France: A Lever for Improving Their Situation

This research on the working conditions for teachers working part-time in secondary schools in France (often women) aims to reveal certain discriminatory practices by the education authorities, which often go unnoticed. This study adopts an original approach by combining an ergonomic approach to work and the psychological model of the system of activities. This combination of methods – interviews (20) - timetable analysis (210) – questionnaires on teachers’ experiences at work (106) produces a systemic approach to the activity, situated in organisational and institutional contexts, and a diachronic perspective on health and professional activity. Our findings show that the forms of commitment to work change according to changes in teachers’ health and their private lives. Paradoxically, instead of improving, the working conditions of part-time teachers often deteriorate, and their reputation within the institution is damaged. They are subject to pressure and, more or less hidden, discrimination from their line management, as well as their colleagues. These initial findings call for further investigation of the need to gender the diachronic approach to health and the work activity. Better understanding the conflicts between different spheres of life and how they impact health and careers will reveal how the decisions made regarding the temporal organisation of the activity influence the careers of both women and men. In particular, it will draw out the mechanisms behind the early-onset fatigue experienced by women, who are most affected by the need to find an improved work-life balance.

D. Cau-Bareille, C. Teiger, S. Volkoff

Interventions for Improving Working Environment in Home Care Work in Sweden – Preliminary Findings from the First Year: A Gender Perspective

Home care services are an important part of the Swedish social welfare system. Considering the size of the sector and the increasing future needs for home care, due to growing elderly populations, it is worrisome that problems in terms of injuries, sick leave and staff turnover appear common in this occupation. A problem for managing the situation is, however, that the current knowledgebase is fragmented and not much developed being characterized by a homogenous workforce in terms of gender, dominated by women. A common perception is that this work is low skilled and something that can be done part time in parallel with household work. To improve the working environment in home care work, we initiated a project in which one of the goals was to create a better overview of published results of interventions and examples from community practice. Accordingly, we undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature with the purpose to find and map practical examples of interventions. The preliminary result suggests that there is a considerable lack of knowledge and often lacking, or poor, analyses of the consequences of the unequal gender balance in home care work. Interventions could be grouped into four types of interventions: scheduling, education and training, organizational change and digitization. Interestingly, it seems as if single problems at the workplace level to a larger extent are covered in the scientific literature while problems on the system level are more seldom addressed.

Britt Östlund, Charlotte Holgersson, Rydenfält Christofer, Inger Arvidsson, Gerd Johansson, Roger Persson

Analysis of Posture Adopted by Female Kolhapuri Chappal (Footwear) Manufacturing Workers India

Footwear industry is an important sector of leather industries in India, distributed in various locations. It is divided into organized and unorganized (mainly craft based). Kolhapuri Chappal (footwear) is prominent among all craft based footwear manufacturing. This craft which has significant presence in local and national economy (export and domestic market), is a cottage based industry and mainly family entrepreneurship. The entire manufacturing process is divided into various steps and steps are divided among male and female workers of the house. Female workers are mostly involved in less forceful activities. But while doing, female workers occupy apparently various non-optimal postures which may lead to development of musculoskeletal and other occupational disorders. To understand the above a study was taken up for identifying the working postural load and its effect. The current working conditions and the frequencies of MSD symptoms of 51 female workers were evaluated. Musculoskeletal health data were collected through standard questionnaire and RULA was used for postural load analysis. SPSS version 20.0 was used for statistical data analysis. Age, height and weight of the subjects were 33.6 (±13.17) years, 152.3 (±3.2) cm and 51 (±4.3) kg respectively. The results of postural load analysis revealed that there is need for effective implementation of intervention program and some changes are required immediately with respect to their current workstations. Further it has been identified that there is a high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among female workers at low back followed by neck, knee and upper-back. Further in understanding the relation with the postural load and types of musculoskeletal pain, it was found that there are association with RULA grand score and prevalence of low-back pain. The above result is comparable with other available literature of similar types of industry. As this occupation is very specific in nature it requires further investigation in detail.

Urmi Salve, Ganesh Jadhav

Self-management Process After a Work Accident: A Gender Analysis

The return to the professional activity after a work accident corresponds to a complex process, whose path often reveals inequality factors, especially if we look at it through the gender lens.Under the scope of the project “Return-to-work after an accident: to overcome obstacles” carried out in Portugal together with the National Association of Disabled Workers Injured On-the-job, with 371 participants, the circumstances and the consequences of the work accidents were analyzed.Although the gender dimension was not considered at the origin of the investigation, the study’s methodological layout took into account the representativeness of men and women for the purposes of sample constitution and findings’ analysis – findings that show a clear inequality especially in the moments prior to the accident and in the reinsertion process.Consequently, there seems to be a tendency towards the precariousness in the job and working conditions after the accident: for men, apart from the salary, the unemployment allowance emerges as the main source of income, while in the case of women the sick pay prevails as income source. From the perspective of the working conditions of those who return to the same company after the accident, most participants do not get a readjusted workstation or work schedule and there is a sense that the job is on the line, reported particularly by women.

Liliana Cunha, Cláudia Pereira, Marta Santos, Marianne Lacomblez

Challenges in Implementing Inclusive Participatory OHS Management Approaches Sensitive to Gender and Diversity Issues

Purpose: Although the effectiveness of participatory approaches in occupational health and safety (OHS) is, in theory, widely recognized today [1, 2], their implementation is sometimes guided by power relations or by the interests of the most vocal stakeholders to the detriment of others. Several challenges remain to implement it fully in the workplace and to achieve the active, inclusive and representative participation of all stakeholders in terms of gender and, more broadly, diversity (ex. ethnicity, language, age, (dis)abilities) [3, 4]. The research question of the present study was: What are the favorable and unfavorable conditions for implementing inclusive participatory OHS management approaches that integrate gender and diversity issues?Methods: We conducted an iterative scoping review of the literature following Arksey and O’Malley’s guidelines [5]. We searched several databases including Pubmed, PsycInfo, Web of Science and Google Scholar for discussion or research on diversity management in participatory approaches in ergonomics and in OHS management. Papers were screened for inclusion based on their title and abstract at first and based on full text, as a second step. Information were extracted on composition/functioning of the work group, values/beliefs/attitudes towards gender and diversity, social climate, financial/human/operational resources. We performed a qualitative thematic analysis and synthetized the evidence and the questions/hypotheses/practical considerations raised in the discussion of the topic. From this analysis, we derived a conceptual framework.Results: This research demonstrated the potential for participatory approaches sensitive to gender and diversity to overcome some of the limits of the classical OHS management approaches. We synthetized and discussed the principal barriers and facilitators to implementing inclusive participatory approaches in OHS and proposed a conceptual framework for the implementation of inclusive participatory approaches. Three dimensions were identified to a successful implementation of inclusive participatory approaches sensitive to gender/diversity: (a) establishment of a working group representative of the diversity within the organization, (b) integration of issues related to gender/diversity into the discussions, (c) establishment of a shared equitable decision-making process (ex. commitment of all stakeholders, exchange of information, skills acquisition in order to balance power relations). Various barriers and facilitators were identified.Conclusions: Understanding and addressing the principal barriers and facilitators to a greater inclusion and diversity in participatory approaches could ultimately lead to improved participatory interventions to everyone’s benefit.

Valérie Lederer, Jessica Riel

When Being a Woman Represents a Major Risk of Commuting Accidents?

Since 2010, National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) recognized commuting accidents as work injury. Commuting is the leading cause of death among Italian and immigrant women. Commuting disabilities have been studied from INAIL records within the last five years (2012–2016). Results show how women present more disabilities in commuting than men (53.2% vs 46.8% men, p < 0,001). Men show more disabilities due to commuting with vehicle (39.8% vs 36.8% women) while commuting without vehicle is more frequent among women (16.4% vs 7% men, p < 0,05) with more permanent disabilities and severe ones (20.4% vs 9% men, p < 0.001; severe 16.5% vs 7.2% men, p < 0,001). Skeleton-motor apparatus is the most affected among women (87.7% vs 80.7% men, p < 0.001) in all work injury disabilities. Lower limbs are the women body site mainly injured (40.4% women vs 38.6% men, p < 0.01) after upper limbs.More disabilities due to commuting, particularly without vehicle, can be explained with women more home-work-home walking together with double burden, low socio-economic status, work and environmental conditions.Ergonomics should deal towards commuting gender-oriented prevention, in terms of home-work-home journey concept (sidewalks, lighting, etc), work organization (family/work balance, flexible working hours, limited night shift work, standing and sitting posture, dual tasks, etc.), specific women’s health prevention (osteoporosis, strengthening lower limbs, wearing suitable shoes for walking and working, etc.).

Silvana Salerno, Claudia Giliberti

Telecommuting in Academia – Associations with Staff’s Health and Well-Being

The ability to telecommute has changed working life for staff at universities and colleges. Although the opportunity to work away from the office at any time gives workers more freedom to manage their work, it also imposes higher demands on workers to set limits to their work. The aim of this ongoing study is to determine if there is an optimal amount of telecommuting for male and female academics with respect to perceived health, work stress, recovery, work-life balance, and work motivation. A web-based survey is currently being conducted among lecturers and professors at Swedish universities and colleges. Results so far show that perceived fatigue and stress associated with indistinct organization and conflicts are higher among academics that telecommute to a larger extent. The results also show that female academics are more fatigued and stressed at work than male academics, but this does not seem to be related to the extent of telecommuting performed.

Marina Heiden, Linda Richardsson, Birgitta Wiitavaara, Eva Boman

Meghalaya Tourism: A Study on Women’s Attitudes and Perceptions Towards the Cultural Exposure and Interaction in the Context of Meghalaya Tourism

In a matriarchal society like Meghalaya where women are given high value of importance and independence it is seen that their involvement and exposure to work in various spheres is increasing over the years. The matriarchal way of thinking and upbringing has made the women in Meghalaya to inherit a confident, amiable and open-minded persona, which makes them more likely to interact effortlessly with people. There is very less research done on women in a matriarchal society in the field of tourism. There is need to understand and interpret their behavioural patterns and extent of willingness to share their culture with the tourists. Data Collection on 120 indigenous men and women of Meghalaya was done to find out their views on the context of Meghalaya Tourism and the extent of how culture is shared as well as how the level of interaction between the natives and tourists is achieved through tourism was done. The Results showed that the women natives of Meghalaya have a positive approach to interact and share their culture with the tourists but have no platform to do so. This shows that there is a need to design an interactive platform where culture which is the essence of a place can be shared to the tourists and provide them with a fulfilling and excellent authentic experience that they can carry when they leave the place.

Wanrisa Bok Kharkongor, Abhirup Chatterjee, Debkumar Chakrabarti

A Bio-cooperative Robotic System to Ensure Ergonomic Postures During Upper Limb Rehabilitation in Occupational Contexts

Inappropriate work conditions represent the main cause for upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in many working professions. In this context, robotics and novel technologies might represent a new frontier of devices able to treat musculoskeletal disorders. This paper aims at proposing and preliminary testing a bio-cooperative robotic platform for upper limb rehabilitation composed of a redundant anthropomorphic manipulator, an active arm gravity support and a multimodal interface. With the proposed platform it is possible to extract performance and muscular fatigue indicators and accordingly adapt the level of assistance, provided by the anthropomorphic robot arm, and of arm support. Furthermore, it was verified if the use of the proposed platform allowed subjects to execute highly controlled movements while maintaining an ergonomic posture able to limit the trunk compensatory movements during reaching. A preliminary study on 8 healthy subjects was carried out and the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment test was adopted to assess the subject’s upperlimb posture during the rehabilitation task. The obtained results are encouraging for extending the study for rehabilitation in occupational contexts of patients with upper limb musculoskeletal pathologies.

F. Scotto di Luzio, F. Cordella, C. Lauretti, D. Simonetti, S. Sterzi, F. Draicchio, L. Zollo

Interrelationship Between Dietary Intake, Bone Mineral Density and Incidence of the Development of Musculoskeletal Disorders in College Students

For most college going students, participation in sport and exercise provides many health benefits. Unfortunately some individuals do not ingest sufficient energy to meet the demands of physical exertion and all physiological functions due to irregular eating habits. This leads to a state of low energy availability (LEA) which can negatively affect bone health, cardiovascular function, and reproduction, gastrointestinal and mental health. The three most researched health consequences of LEA are the clinical end points eating disorders and disordered eating, musculoskeletal disorders, and stress fractures (due to loss of bone health) which occur on a spectrum from health to disease. [Purpose] Identifying female students along the spectrum can result in early detection which in turn can prevent these conditions from progressing and reaching the clinical end points. [Subjects and Methods] 100 participants (18–25 years of age) were recruited according to the selection criteria and ethical clearance. Outcome measures were Eating Attitudes Test- 26 (EAT-26), questionnaire regarding the participant’s exercise patterns, bone mineral density and Nordic questionnaire for musculoskeletal disorders. [Results] Pearson correlation test was applied on the variables to get positive linear correlation between physical activity and bone mineral density and negative correlation between scores from EAT-26 and bone mineral density. Results from Nordic questionnaire showed that 63% of the subjects had experienced musculoskeletal disorders, most of which was regarding low back. In the present study 58% of females reported having an injury in the past year. [Conclusion] Disordered eating certainly affects the overall well-being of a female by affecting the bone health. Dietary counselling and physical activity can help improve the health status in the college going females. Controlling their attitude towards health through proper awareness can also improve their quality of life.

Amanpreet Kaur, Ajita Dsingh

Teaching with Gender Perspective Oriented to the Training of Women Students of Interactive Design and Interactive Technologies

There’s needed of studies for teaching with gender perspective oriented to train women students of Interactive Technologies and Interactive Design, whom will have the task of developing easy-to-use, useful and pertinent systems, considering transition towards a more social design, characterized by giving people voice, centering results of design processes in users; thinking about action’s sustainable consequences, or focusing on services, rather than products. At present, society is characterized by marked economic, social and gender differences, visible in the phenomenon known as digital divide, in which same opportunities for access and use of digital technologies do not exist for all individuals. Economic and geographical access obstacles, as well as difficulties of using new technologies are widening the digital divide between people; differentiating between those who may or may not acquire a series of products or services, between the countries that develop technology and the countries that adopt it, as well as between men and women who use technologies; that is to say between “what some do and others cannot do”. Women have been lagged respect to men in the digital domain. These differences have been built from multiple social factors, giving cultural, social and gender legitimacy. Despite equal access to Information Technologies, skills valuation between genders is distinctive, remaining masculine the imaginary representations about computer expert. Visualizing scenarios for a gender education, which social self-concept and self-image of women develop positively, promoting benefiting experiences to students that develop products designed by women, by making efforts to prevent digital divide by gender.

Mercado Colin Lucila, Rodea Chávez Alejandro

Gendered Indicators in OHS: A Number to Convince and Transform Public Policies

Up until 2008, the Anact-Aract network used to be asked by companies to look at the gender mix of occupations, in a context marked by a shortage of labour. The question asked by metallurgy, building and motorway operation companies was: “What working conditions do we need to provide so that women can integrate male occupations?”

Florence Chappert

A Brand-New Risk in Japan?—Risks of Industrial Accidents in the Age of Diversity Management and Their Countermeasures

In order to address the declining labor force problem in Japan, certain activities called “Diversity Management” are now being promoted by the Japanese government. In these activities, many enterprises have adopted Diversity Management for innovation and improvement in productivity by utilizing various human resources including women, people from overseas, the elderly, and people with disabilities. One of the main themes in diversity management, especially in the growth period of enterprise, has been the promotion of female employees and temporary workers including those who are of younger age and elderly.Some unexpected accidents have been occasionally reported, which have been caused by cultural differences or differences of values. Under these circumstances, notices such as a checklist of safety points and information of incident reports have been provided for enterprises promoting Diversity Management, especially in the case of younger temporary workers and female temporary workers who have burdens of house-holdings.Also, an internet questionnaire was performed on parents’ anxiety in variable risks including nuclear radiation risk, after the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 2011 (n = 1500, performed in 2018). Some trends of career choice were revealed in the influence to children’s future: the anxiety of parents who have children of elementary school were highest among other groups. These trends may affect their career promotion and decline job-motivation or the feeling of job-satisfaction. Some countermeasures in the viewpoint of life-career balance should be prepared in the case of over-anxiety.

Hongson Shin

Theoretical Bases of New Work Simulator-Based Aptitude Assessment in Vocational Guidance of Students with Disability or Special Educational Needs

In Hungary there is a governmental endeavour to increase the participation of disadvantaged and disabled workers in the free labour market. Nowadays making trades, especially lacking professions, more attractive is in general of high priority. The percentage of unemployed and of those who left their original professions is rather high, but this percentage is even higher among the disabled persons. Since the scope of disabled persons’ retained abilities is narrower, and therefore their chances in the free labour market are rather smaller, in their case it is especially important to identify jobs really fitting to their intact abilities. Based on experience, three model components – “main groups of requirements”, “ability-demand gap model” and “tentative causal model of input, intermediate and output variables” – have been accepted as theoretical basis for this research. In this paper the first empirical results of our ongoing research concerning vocational guidance of handicapped students and youngsters will also be presented.

Erika Jókai

Ergonomic Risk Factors in Women Workers Involved in Handicraft Industry of Patiala District

There are many small scale industries in Punjab which help the lower middle class workers to get their employment. Among all, handicraft industry is the mostly widely established small scale industry.

Ajita Dsingh, Jeewanjot Kaur



“La Fabbrica si Misura”: An Anthropometric Study of Workers at FCA Italian Plants

Nowadays, the use of updated and reliable anthropometric database is of great importance. Anthropometric data play a key role in workstation design, safe use of machineries and protective equipment supplying. The variability of anthropometric data between populations of different ethnic groups, or even different countries or geographical areas of origin, cannot be neglected. The ISO 7250 technical standard reports a collection of statistical data of anthropometric measurements for different nations. As far as the Italian adult population is concerned, the anthropometric survey, referred in the standard, was carried out nearly 30 years ago. The interest and value of a more recent anthropometric database, that could be representative of the Italian working population, was the driver for the project “La Fabbrica si Misura” (The Factory Measures itself).The present work describes the methodology used to acquire the data on selected FCA plants in different Italian regions. Data collection was aimed in particular at the body measurements that are crucial for the creation of virtual manikins to be used in Digital Human Models, and are not always available in the standard database. A minimum of 3000 volunteer subjects per gender, aged between 18 and 65, participated in the initiative. The paper presents a preliminary statistical analysis on the data for the male sample. An initial comparison with the reference database of the ISO international technical standard is also reported.

Stefania Spada, Raffaele Castellone, Maria Pia Cavatorta

Anthropometric Data for Biomechanical Hand Model

The aim of this study was to investigate the anthropometric data for the segment masses, center of mass (COMs) of the segments of inertia, and radii of gyration are required for the development of the biomechanical hand model. The segment masses were calculated on the basis of the segment volume using a density of 1.1 g/cm3. The segment volume was estimated from the measured length between the participants’ distal and proximal joints (segment length) and the diameters of their knuckles. The COMs for the proximal and middle segments and the distal segment were determined by approximating the phalanx by the frustum of a cone and a cylindrical homogeneous rigid body, respectively. The diameters of the knuckles were measured for each participant. We assume that they have a uniform density. The moments of inertia of the proximal and middle segments were determined by approximating the phalanx as the frustum of a conical homogenous rigid body. The diameters of the knuckles were measured for each participant. The moments of inertia of the distal segments were determined by approximating the phalanx as a cylindrical rigid body. The radii of gyration, Kx, Ky, and Kz, of the segment about the x axis, y axis, and z axis are defined as Pytel and Kiusalaas. This information will be provide useful data for development of biomechanical hand model.

Kyung-Sun Lee, Myung-Chul Jung, Seung-Min Mo, Seung Nam Min

The Definition and Generation of Body Measurements (ISO 8559 Series of Standards)

Clothing sizes have been constantly changing in proportions and dimensions since “ready-to-wear” clothing with standardized sizes appeared in the mid-19th century and, today, sizes across brands and countries continue to vary based on different assumed body shape profiles.In order to define that size, manufacturers need to know how to measure which body part to ensure the proportions are correct. The ISO 8559 series of standards helps them define “how and where to measure the body”.The ISO 8559 series of standards provides guidelines for clothing manufacturers to develop size and shape profiles based on different populations in order to create all kinds of clothing and mannequins. They have recently been updated to reflect changes in the dynamic clothing sector and eliminate trade barriers by harmonizing size marking and the terms of reference worldwide.The ISO 8559 series of standards is aimed at increasing customer satisfaction and reducing returns of items as a result of a poor fit. “They will also help to reduce barriers to international trade by providing a universal set of size markings and terms of reference. This will help to simplify information on garment labels for shoppers as, currently, body dimensions are listed on garment sizing labels that do not relate to the body measurements.”This paper is an analysis of measuring body applications in the ISO 8559 series of standards created and developed by ISO/TC133.

Youngsuk Lee

Anthropometric Dimension of Agricultural Workers in North Eastern Thailand

Anthropometry is the science of human body measurement which is carried out for designing tools and equipment, not only to achieve performance and productivity but also providing safety and comfort. This study presents anthropometric dimensions of agricultural workers in North-eastern Thailand that carried out in 139 agricultural workers with 15 anthropometric dimensions of standing posture by using the commercial anthropometer set. Statistical analysis were analyzed by mean (±SD). The 5th, 50th and 95th percentile values were calculated accordingly. However, the t-tests were used to compare different mean between male and female anthropometric dimensions. The agricultural workers were comprised of 71 males (aged 18–59 years, mean (±SD)) at 44.11 years (±10.02) and 68 females (aged 18–59 years, mean (±SD)) at 45.87 years (±10.83). In addition, there are significant different between male and female agricultural workers in all of anthropometric dimensions (p < 0.01) except body weight. Similarly, the comparison mean of anthropometric dimensions in Thai, Taiwanese, Chinese and Singaporean that found Thai male and female are relatively smaller than other countries. Therefore, the finding of this study concluded that anthropometric data were evidently difference between male and female within the region and difference countries which are absolutely necessary for designing of ergonomically machines/tools/equipment of the target users.

Ekarat Sombatsawat, Mark Gregory Robson, Wattasit Siriwong

Anthropometric Survey of Chinese Adult Population

Anthropometric data is the basis of human-centred design and is also widely used in the industrial design of clothing, furniture, sportswear, consumer product, machinery, personal protective equipment, vehicles, architectures etc. Thus, more and more countries carried out national body size survey and set up anthropometric databases. China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) undertakes national body size survey in China. The first national adult body size survey in China is carried out during 1986–1987. The first national child body size survey is carried out during 2006–2008 by CNIS. As dramatic changes in Chinese body size have taken place during the past 30 years, with the support of the National R&D Infrastructure Development Program of China, CNIS conduct the new Chinese adult anthropometric survey during 2013–2018. With a vast territory, there are great differences in the human body dimensions among different regions in China. To collect more representative human body dimensions, the stratified multistage cluster sampling method is used in the nationwide anthropometric survey. According to the anthropologic studies, the nationwide survey area are divided into 6 regions, which are northeast and north China, central and western region, the lower reach of Yangtze river and the middle reach of Yangtze river, Two Guangs and Fujian, and Yun, Gui and Sichuan. In this anthropometric survey, the 3D body scanners are mainly used, together with Martin measuring instruments for manual anthropometric measurement partly. Up to Jan. 30, 2018, the nationwide field survey has been completed, which collected over 26,000 adults from 32 cities in 24 provinces. The new Chinese adult anthropometric data and statistic reports will be released soon.

Chayi Zhao, Linghua Ran, Taijie Liu, Aixian Li

Use of Anthropometry and Fit Databases to Improve the Bottom-Line

Many apparel companies do extensive market research to understand their customer base. This results in good information about the gender, ethnicity, age, income and other characteristics of the target market. In this paper we will show how this can be taken one step further with large anthropometric databases and small fit studies to better target the market, improve sales and reduce waste, through improved fit, faster product development and tighter inventory control. The improvement in population accommodation with good selection of the sizes will be quantified and illustrated using data from the WEAR Association database. An example of the creation of the “fit map” for an apparel item will be provided and compared against a priori assumptions about the range of fit. Then a comparison of raw data versus data weighted to the target market will be illustrated.

Kathleen M. Robinette, Daisy Veitch

Importance of Human Anthropometry in the Interior Development of Autonomous Vehicles

Currently autonomous driving is one of the dominant trends in the automotive industry. Cars that no longer need the driver’s attention will be used in a completely new way than is currently the case. Fully autonomous driving would allow drivers to participate in the so called “non-driving secondary activities”. In the future the car would be a place to work, a place to socialize, to relax, to meditate, spend quality time with the family, take a nap, and a whole lot more. The autonomous driving vehicle would be more of a living space, rather than just a mode of transportation.In order to facilitate these non-driving activities, the interior of the vehicle and the vehicle seats would be reconfigured and redesigned differently, as compared to the conventional vehicle interiors until now. Given the fact that the space available within a classical vehicle is limited, a lot of importance needs to be given to human anthropometry. In order to offer optimal space and comfort, the interior of the vehicle needs to be flexible and needs to be adaptable and customizable to the anthropometry of the occupant.The paper helps to understand the importance of human anthropometry in the design and development of the vehicle seating and seating configuration. Discussed in the paper are potential advantages, if human anthropometry is used as a parameter in the design and development of the interior of autonomous driving cars.

Sibashis Parida, Samuel Brock, Sylvester Abanteriba, Mattias Franz

Anthropometric Implications of the Global Obesity Epidemic

Makers of products that must accommodate anthropometric variability need to understand body size and shape of all people, including those who are obese. This is particularly important in safety critical applications such as medical devices and promoting the mobility of people with obesity in public spaces. To address the lack of data on this population segment we undertook a preliminary anthropometric study of individuals with high body mass index (BMI).Several challenges, unique to this population segment, were encountered. 1. Measurement definitions/techniques needed, in some cases, to be altered to accommodate the larger size of the participant. 2. Definition of the boundaries of the sample (e.g., limiting by BMI or weight) is unknown, yet critical in determining the final statistics. 3. Issues of sample acquisition – how to obtain access to the population – materially affected the composition of the final sample. 4. The usual statistics used to report anthropometric data assume a generally normal distribution. In this case, the distribution is non-normal and affects the interpretation of the statistics.

Bruce Bradtmiller, Neal Wiggermann, Monica L. H. Jones

SOOMA - Software for Acquisition and Storage of Anthropometric Data Automatically Extracted from 3D Digital Human Models

SOOMA is a software tool developed by Laboratório de Ergonomia (LABER) of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia (INT) of Brazil for use in projects involving anthropometric characterization of the human body. Its main objective is to automate the location of body landmarks and calculation of anthropometric measurements based on digital human models generated by 3D laser scanning. SOOMA was designed as a modular application, allowing implementation of algorithms for landmarks location and anthropometric measurements calculation independent of the graphical user interface responsible for controlling user interaction. Data and files are stored in a local database immediately after production. Optionally, stored data and files may be copied to a centralized document management system that provides long term preservation and decentralized access by registered users. The Control module is a C# windows application and the local database is an opensource database. Currently, the Script module is based on R but other algorithm execution tools can be used. Opensource software LogicalDOC is used as document management system and some specialized functions for visual verification of landmark location and 3D pdf generation depend on additional opensource tools (CloudCompare, Meshlab and Miktex).

Flávia Cristine Hofstetter Pastura, Tales Fernandes Costa, Gabriel de Aguiar Mendonça, Maria Cristina Palmer Lima Zamberlan

Design for Plus Size People

Obesity is a growing issue in western societies with consequences for the field of human centered design. Most anthropometric data sources assume the data follow the Gaussian distribution, with population data symmetrically distributed above and below the mean value. This assumption is often true in length measurements like body heights, but may not be true for measurements more sensitive to body mass, like body weight, hip width, elbow-to-elbow width, and body depth. While length measurements have remained relatively stable over time in western societies, mass related measurements are increasing. The authors have experience in providing data via an interactive website DINED, which seeks to make anthropometry accessible without requiring expert knowledge about anatomy and statistics. Currently all DINED dimensions are assumed Gaussian, including those related to body mass. This might not work when designing for plus size people. Future additions in DINED will be about design for obesity and about how to implement 3D scanning into the design process in order to redress these defects.

J. F. M. Molenbroek, R. de Bruin, T. Albin

Estimating Anthropometric Measurements of Algerian Students with Microsoft Kinect

Ergonomics aims at fitting the job to the man. Anthropometry supports ergonomics to achieve this aim. The design or redesign of workplaces, machines, and tools can be done successfully through anthropometry. Therefore, the measurement of anthropometric dimensions is highly necessary for ergonomic practices. Currently, the main concern of ergonomists is the search for tools that enable taking measurements reliably, efficiently and inexpensively. The use of traditional anthropometry has been criticized for being time consuming, expensive, and requires skilled personnel. Ergonomists have found their place in 3D scanners. Despite the fact that with 3D scanners, anthropometric surveys are done faster with quicker results, greater accuracy and minimum errors, they are costly and many institutions in developing countries cannot afford to buy them. In addition, their maintenance is another burden on these institutions to obtain them. It may be wise to seek a compromise between the two types of anthropometry. Motion capture interactive entertainment tools like Kinect show some promise in anthropometry. In comparison to other devices, it is affordable as it can be purchased for about 200$. Further, it is light, easy to use, and can be interfaced with computer Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.The results obtained in this study using Kinect showed that they did not differ in accuracy from those obtained using conventional anthropometry. Therefore, researchers have been urged to use this device in research and to keep in mind continuously developing it.

Mohamed Mokdad, Ibrahim Mokdad, Mebarki Bouhafs, Bouabdallah Lahcene

Grip and Pinch Strength of the Population of the Northwest of Mexico

At present, work injuries represent a high cost to companies, mainly those that involve manual work in their activities. The analysis of hand and finger strength in these types of tasks is essential in the design of workstations and the reduction of upper limb injuries. Studies have been carried out in many countries such as the United States and Singapore to determine the strength of hands and fingers of their respective populations; however, there is no evidence of similar research in Mexico. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this research is to determine the maximum grip strength and pinch with and without gloves recommended for the population of northwestern Mexico, with the purpose of establishing force standards categorized by age and gender. An experiment was carried out in which 700 volunteers (470 men and 230 women) between 18 and 30 years of age participated with standardized positioning and instructions. All the volunteers were students with little or no industrial experience. Age was arbitrarily categorized into three groups: 18–19, 20–24 and 25–30 years.METHODOLOGY: The research subjects were asked to perform their maximum muscular effort voluntary of grip and pinch in three attempts, holding this effort for three seconds, spaced for a minute, in both hands, with and without gloves and the average of the three efforts was taken as a definitive data. All data were recorded in kilograms.RESULTS: The results show that for women in the majority of the tests there is no significant difference between using or not using glove, while in the case of men is it no preferable to use a glove. In the other hand, it can be said that for women, there is a difference in the force exerted with dominant and non-dominant hand, and with the dominant hand, greater force is exerted. This same result is repeated in the case of men. Different results were obtained for women and men. In the case of women, there was no significant difference between wearing a glove and not wearing a glove, while in the case of men, a significant difference was observed, the strength exerted when a glove was not worn.

Enrique de la Vega-Bustillos, Francisco Lopez-Millan, Gerardo Mesa-Partida, Oscar Arellano-Tanori

Hand Dimensions and Grip Strength: A Comparison of Manual and Non-manual Workers

The purpose of this study was to examine grip strength differences between manual and non-manual workers and to investigate possible contributors.The sample consisted of 1740 adult males aged between 20–64 years old including 905 manual (40.5 ± 16.8 years) and 835 non-manual workers (48.3 ± 18.2 years). The first group was manual unskilled workers who perform light manual operations. Non-manual workers were office/clerical employees who spent the majority of their time behind a computer. Hand dimensions (palm width, hand length, palm length, forearm length, wrist circumference and forearm circumference) were measured by a digital Caliper (±0.1 mm) and a tape meter (±0.1 cm) with respect to the NASA standards. The values of grip strength were measured by JAMAR hydraulic dynamometer according to the ASHAT recommendations.The mean hand grip strength of manual workers (51.6 ± 8.7 kg) was significantly higher than that of non-manual workers (45.2 ± 5.8 kg) (P < 0.001). Concerning hand dimensions, Palm width and forearm circumference were significantly greater in manual workers than in non-manual workers (range of difference: 0.5–2.3 cm for palm width and 1.1–2.8 cm for forearm circumference). Other hand dimensions were not statistically different between the two job groups. Among all selected hand dimensions, palm width and forearm circumference had the greatest relationship with grip strength (r = 0.71, p < 0.001 for manual workers; r = 0.66, p < 0.001 for non-manual workers). This study revealed that light manual workers are approximately 12.4% stronger than office employees in hand grip. It is important to take the observed differences into account in clinical as well as design settings.

Mahnaz Saremi, Sajjad Rostamzadeh

Estimation to Use the Stick Figure of Kinect® Version 2 for Digital Anthropometry

In this paper we examine the possibility to use the integrated stick figure and their joint positions of Microsoft® Kinect® version 2 for digital measurement of human body dimensions. Manual anthropometric measurement data and the indirect parameter calculation based on Kinect® joints were compared for selected human body dimensions. This paper takes a closer look at the length measurements of body height and arm span. 15 female participants took part in a subject test. Participants stood frontal to the Kinect® in two different stages (feet together and slightly apart; both with and without shoes) and in three different poses. Each parameter was analysed by three different algorithms based on the Kinect® joint data.For determination of body height, the indirect parameter calculation seems to be a possible replacement of the direct manual anthropometric measurement, if the accuracy claim is low. We observed deviations between the values derived from Kinect® data and the direct anthropometric values up to 5 cm. Arm span data as well shows linear trends, but deviations are higher. Multivariate analyses seem to be necessary.

Sabine Wenzel, Juliana Buchwald, Hartmut Witte

Assessment of Dimensional Needs for Designing Spaces for Wheelchair Users

The design of spaces must take in consideration among other things, the physical characteristics of the variety of users. Regarding buildings of public use this diversity is even more, being used to pay special attention to those users who are considered extremes in certain conditions. A segment among this variety is wheelchair users, who are particularly challenged by the built environment. In the context of this study, it is possible to find some handbooks with guidelines for designing spaces for people using a wheelchair. However, it is not clear where the dimensions come from since there is not a specific reference nor a database with dimensions of people in such condition in that context. The objective of this study was twofold: (1) to assess some design dimensions provided by two handbooks for designing spaces for people using a wheelchair; and (2) to identify and understand the problems that users of wheelchair face in performing some of their daily life activities. An anthropometric survey of 14 wheelchair users was performed and then their dimensions were contrasted against dimensions presented by the handbooks. After an interview about their daily life activities was made, to incorporate them in the formulation of the dimensional parameters for space design. The participants were asked to rate the difficulty level of some indoor and outdoor daily activities. The comparison of the results through coefficient of variation showed that the data used in the accessibility standards handbooks correlates with the mean of some of the dimensions taken in this study, for example, maximum height point near the knee (0.4%), height to the rim handle (9.2%), elbow to elbow width (1.2%). Overall the development of anthropometric data for special populations, in this case, wheelchair users contributes to the creation of a more inclusive society through the improvement of design guides, spaces and policies.

Adrián Leal-Pérez, Libertad Rizo-Corona, John Rey-Galindo, Carlos Aceves-González, Elvia González-Muñoz

Latin American Schoolchildren Anthropometry: Study of the Anthropometric Differences of the Rural and Urban Zones in Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Musculoskeletal disorders have been widely studied in the adult population, with a focus on workplaces, due to the high rates of absenteeism in the last decade (Punnett and Wegman 2004). However, there are a limited number of studies that focus on musculoskeletal disorders and child anthropometry. Studies have shown that the lack of proper fit of children to school furniture can generate anatomical and functional changes, and negatively affect the learning process (Castellucci et al. 2014). In Ecuador, as in several Latin American countries, statural growth is influenced by socioeconomic status (Castellucci et al. 2016). For this reason, the present study focuses on the creation of anthropometric tables of school children between the ages of 5 and 7 for the urban and rural zones in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. The data is based on 10 anthropometric measures of a sample size of 300 urban and 300 rural children. The anthropometric profile is then used to analyze the differences between urban and rural children, the potential causes for these differences, and to propose a design for school desks. As a result of the study, prototypes of school desks that comply with ergonomic standards and anthropometric measures of school children were created using 3D printers.

T. Wendy L. Velasco, C. Cristina Camacho

How to Assess Sitting (Dis)comfort? – An Analysis of Current Measurement Methods and Scales

For at least 60 years, the research community of human factors and ergonomics investigates the topic of comfortable and optimized seating. Great amounts of scientific publications address the evaluation and often the objectification of the positive as well as negative sensations during sitting. The terms of comfort and discomforts are usually applied to determine the subjective feelings, regardless whether it is for aircraft, automotive or office seating. The great variety of scales being used and experiment designs are considered critical regarding the comparability of published results. After presenting the current state of the art, parameters affecting discomfort evaluations and a meta-analysis of already published studies are introduced. On these bases, the paper concludes with arguments for the necessity of more standardization in the area of sitting research, future research goals as well as important questions to be answered and discussed within the research community of sitting comfort/discomfort.

Annika Ulherr, Klaus Bengler

Evaluation of an Adaptive Assistance System to Optimize Physical Stress in the Assembly

In the project “Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center Darmstadt”, an assistance system was developed, which automatically adapts to the individual adjustment of working height, reach and the provision of tools and materials with the help of anthropometric employee data. The data is read in via RFID card. This assistance system has now been evaluated in a study. In addition to reviewing the change in physical loads. For evaluation, 30 subjects performed a typical assembly activity with and without the support of the assistance system. Using motion capturing, based on the Captiv system of the company TEA ergonomics, the posture was determined without and with the adjustment of the assistance system. For this purpose, the movements of selected parts of the body were analyzed and evaluated. In addition, an interview was conducted to investigate how the users perceived the adjustment of the assistance system and where they saw room for improvement.

Katharina Rönick, Thilo Kremer, Jurij Wakula

Anthropometry for Ergonomic Design of Workstations: The Influence of Age and Geographical Area on Workers Variability

The present paper reports some considerations about the results of the project “La Fabbrica si Misura”, an anthropometric measurement campaign that involved a large sample of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) workers of both genders throughout the Italian plants. The main purpose of our study is to investigate the anthropometric variability of the sample in terms of age and geographical area of the plant, in order to identify differences in workers’ dimensions useful to design workstations adopting real users’ as well as to choose Personal Protective Equipment or aids suitable in terms of different sizes and body proportions. This paper shows the preliminary results from the analysis of the male sample anthropometric data collected during 2017. The analyses were conducted on more than 3000 male subjects aged between 18 and 65 years. In order to evaluate the differences between workers from different Italian areas and age classes, subjects from northern, central and southern plants were analysed separately and distinguished by age. Results highlighted differences referred to the variation of the percentiles of the whole sample and emphasize workers dimensional characteristics differences according to age and geographical provenance. Outcomes obtained from the analysis of the anthropometric features of interest resulted consistent with changes occurred during the history of the plant and its location, in terms of job demand, needs and workers’ origin. Considerations on workers variability highlighted in the present study could give useful suggestions for the ergonomic design of workstations adapted on users’ dimensions and needs.

M. Micheletti Cremasco, A. Giustetto, R. Castellone, M. P. Cavatorta, S. Spada

Modeling People Wearing Body Armor and Protective Equipment: Applications to Vehicle Design

Vehicle interiors are complex human-machine interfaces, posing substantial design challenges, particularly when the vehicle is also a workplace. These challenges are compounded by the wide variability in human size, shape, and preference. For law-enforcement officers, firefighters, soldiers, and other workers, specialized clothing or body borne gear can affect their accommodation, comfort, safety, and ability to perform. Digital human modeling has the potential to provide designers with accurate tools to represent human variability, but current software generally lacks the ability to represent accurate seated body shapes for occupants with body borne protective equipment. This paper presents an overview of research to develop body shape modeling tools for vehicles that incorporate body armor representations. Laser scan data drawn from a large-scale study of men in seated postures was used to develop a predictive model that generates body shape as a function of standard anthropometric dimensions and seat and workspace variables. The model is postured using a data-based approach that incorporates the effects of body armor and gear on posture. Importantly, the space claim for the body armor and body borne gear is validated by reference to laser scan data.

Matthew P. Reed, Monica L. H. Jones, Byoung-keon Daniel Park

Anthropometric Characteristics of Chilean University Students and Their Relation with the Dimensions of the Furniture of the Lecture Rooms

The present study has the objective of associating the anthropometric dimensions of a sample of Chilean university students with the furniture used in classrooms. The ultimate goal is to propose suitable standards for Chilean universities. 17 body dimensions were measured in a sample of 176 students, using a Harpenden anthropometer Holtain. For the evaluation of the furniture, a metallic metric tape was used. To date, the furniture of 35 university classrooms has been evaluated. Mean values, standard deviations and percentile 5 and 95 were calculated for males and females and for the whole group. Average stature was 160.1 cm for women and 174.0 cm for men. The analysis of the relationship between body size of the students and the furniture they use, showed deficiencies not only in size of computer stations, chairs, and tables, but also in the design and maintenance making them even more uncomfortable, particularly for those students who spend a long time in sitting posture. Furthermore, all students use the same furniture without any consideration for differences in body size. In this respect, the discussion is centered on the need to take as reference the extremes of 5th and 95th percentile of the students’ population, but more important is to establish the distribution of body dimensions, at least for a basic set of measurements for seats and tables design, also with inclusive criteria for populations with special needs.

J. Freire, E. Apud, F. Meyer, J. Espinoza, E. Oñate, F. Maureira

Anthropometric Factors in Seat Comfort Evaluation: Identification and Quantification of Body Dimensions Affecting Seating Comfort

The objective of the presented study was the identification and quantification of anthropometric factors in seat comfort evaluation. Therefore, a “comfort-critical” and a “comfort-reference” seat were evaluated by 70 participants (38 men, 32 women) with a questionnaire consisting of 22 items. To identify anthropometric effects a certain requirement had to be fulfilled. The first analysis should show that the “comfort-reference” seat was rated better, compared to the basic “comfort-critical” seat, due to its additional adjustment tracks. The results showed that the “comfort-reference” seat was assessed better in 19 items. Based on these findings a second analysis was investigating, if the assumed anthropometric effects occurred more frequently on the worse rated “comfort-critical” seat. Therefore the participants were divided in three groups depending on their body dimensions. A statistical comparison of the three groups were performed for eight measured anthropometric variables. The number of significant differences between the body dimension groups were higher for the “comfort-critical” seat compared to the “comfort-reference” seat. The data show that anthropometric effects are existing in seat comfort evaluation and a deeper understanding of how body dimension affecting seat comfort needs to be researched.

Benjamin Heckler, Manuel Wohlpart, Klaus Bengler

3D Body Modelling and Applications

Human body metrics have become a significant source of product innovation to industries where consumer fit, comfort and ergonomic considerations are key factors. This is especially the case for fashion (e.g. footwear or apparel), health (e.g. orthotics or prosthetics), transport and aerospace (e.g. seats or human-machine interfaces), and safety (e.g. protective equipment or workstations) among others. Large-scale databases of 3D body scans are today a research tool for most of the leading companies of those sectors. In the last few years, new emerging businesses using 3D body data (e.g. garment and footwear customization, size recommendation, health monitoring) are increasing the number and size of 3D body scan repositories. 3D body databases are growing very fast and the development of 3D modelling tools is leveraging the practical application and exploitation of these data.This paper presents three applications of 3D body modelling methods based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA): (1) shape analysis applied to the ergonomic sizing and design of products, (2) creation of 3D avatars from body measurements, and (3) serial 3D creation of harmonised watertight meshes acquired with any type of 3D body scanner.

S. Alemany, A. Ballester, E. Parrilla, A. Pierola, J. Uriel, B. Nacher, A. Remon, A. Ruescas, J. V. Durá, P. Piqueras, C. Solves

Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments


Differences in Visual Attention Performance Between Action Game Playing and Non-playing Children

Games often act as a teaching tool, but prolonged video game playing may have effects on the cognitive ability of schoolchildren. The present research aims to investigate such effects. The study recruited schoolchildren from grades 1 to 6 as participants to examine differences in attention performance between action game players and non-players. The experiment used the modified UFOV (useful field of view) operated with such factors as distance and clues. The results revealed that the players are significantly superior to the non-players in reaction speed and accuracy, suggesting that the players have better attention in the space and selection realms. In addition, distance also had a significant effect on the participants: increase in distance significantly lowered the accuracy of the non-players, whereas that of the players changed little. The results suggest that video games can strengthen the visual attention of children. It is recommended that the research findings be considered in the design of teaching tools related to attention training. In addition, the task characteristics of the action game content can be incorporated in educational materials to improve the effectiveness of training and assistance.

Min-Sheng Chen, Tien-Sheng Chiu, Wei-Ru Chen

Relationship Between Educational Furniture Design and Cognitive Error

Introduction: Learners’ cognitive error plays a significant role in teaching-learning processes. This study is aimed to investigate the relationship between educational furniture design and cognitive error. Methods: Thirty 18–22 years old students participated in the experiment. Four educational furniture, with different ergonomic characteristics were chosen. The furniture included two types of arm table student chairs (type 1 & 2), one set of library chair and desk (type 3) and one set of adjustable chair and desk (type 4). Each participant spent 90 min on each type of furniture while reading a book and making some notes. A before-after experiment designed to assess cognitive errors by Stroop Test. Paired T-test analysis was used for statistical comparisons at the .05 confidence level in SPSS software.Findings: Comparison before-after errors showed that chairs of type 1 and type 2 could increase errors respectively .86 (P-value = .034) and .63 (P-value = .039). The increasing errors by furniture of type 3 was .40 (P-value = .184). Furniture of type 4 made errors reduction up to .16 (P-value = .517). Comparison between arm table (group 1) and separated table (group 2) showed that group 1 significantly increased errors up to .75 (P-value = .003). Group 2 has insignificantly increased error to .11.Conclusion: The findings revealed a relationship between the ergonomic characteristics of the educational furniture and the number of cognitive errors, as the more ergonomics characteristics of the furniture, the less error. There is also an error percentage reduction using separated chair and desk.

Ali Jafari, Shirazeh Arghami, Koorosh Kamali, Saeedeh Zenozian

The Differences Between Bowing as Among Adult Members of Society in Japan and the Bowing of Japanese Students

Regarding bowing in Japan, the bowing technique of students was compared with the bowing of adults. The bowing data of the students was analyzed. The subjects were junior high school first year and second years students (N = 12). For the measurement, three infrared cameras and TEMA, a high-performance moving image analysis software, was used. In the experiment, motion capture observation points were attached to the head, neck, waist and ankle of the subject. The recorded data was analyzed with TEMA, and the numerical values for six points of body movement were calculated. Moreover a questionnaire was conducted to survey students about their impressions of bowing. By comparing the bowing of adults and students, the following points were identified. First, it was observed that the variance in bowing between students differs greatly. The second observation is the difference in angle of the neck. The third observation is the difference in angle of the waist. The fourth observation is the difference in awareness of bowing. Through this study, it is demonstrated that there are many differences between the bowing of students and adults. Also, it was found that there are many differences between subjects.

Kohei Okado, Hiroyuki Hamada, Noriyuki Kida, Tamotsu Matsuda, Rie Ohashi, Kazuki Kitamura, Andy Smith, David Todisco, Luke Jackson, Tatsuya Ogimoto

Using Natural Gesture Interactions Leads to Higher Usability and Presence in a Computer Lesson

In the last few years, motion-tracking technology has become much more accurate and cost effective, opening the door to advances in natural user interfaces (NUIs), such as gesture-based human-computer interactions. Gesture-based interactions involve using the body to input a command in a computer system. The degree to which NUIs are easy to use should be addressed by research as these technologies become more widespread. Before the usefulness of NUIs can be assessed and optimal interfaces refined, the extent to which NUIs are “natural” or “intuitive” should be determined. The purpose of the present study was to determine how natural gestural computer interactions are perceived by users in a computer-based science lesson. An experiment was conducted comparing natural gestures to arbitrary gestures in a computer lesson to answer the research question of how natural gestures are perceived by users in terms of system usability and presence. Perceived usability of the computer lesson was measured using the System Usability Scale. Natural gestures were rated almost a full point higher in usability (on a 5-point scale) than arbitrary gestures. Presence (i.e., the feeling of “being there” in a virtual environment) was also measured after the computer lesson using the Presence Questionnaire. Natural gesture interactions were seen as inducing a higher sense of control in the computer lesson, more immersion, and better interface quality than arbitrary gesture interactions. The finding that natural gestures are perceived as more usable and contribute to higher feelings of presence should encourage instructional designers and researchers to keep the user in mind when developing gesture-based interactions.

Shannon K. T. Bailey, Cheryl I. Johnson, Valerie K. Sims

Ergonomics Teaching Concept at Technical Universities on the Basis of Warsaw University of Technology

Ergonomic products and ergonomic working conditions are one of the most crucial determinants of market existence for enterprises and condition to hire and keep the most valuable employees. That is why, employers are searching for qualified ergonomics professionals, whose competences are conformed with university degree or certification from acknowledged institutes (e.g. BCPE or CREE). The goal of this paper is to present current state and possible development directions to improve the teaching in the area of ergonomics at Warsaw University of Technology, so that students interested in human-centric approach could get specialized degree and in the future become certified. Preparation of a student to become ergonomic technology designer and to appreciate and experience ergonomic values, will allow him or her to become a user of comfortable products and to work in comfortable working environment. This requires adequate teaching that would trigger vast changes in values, knowledge, abilities and habits, development of cognitive abilities as well as preferences and attitudes.

Ewa Górska, Aneta Kossobudzka-Górska

Children’s Creativity at School: Learning to Produce Multimedia Stories

The study presented here has two objectives: on the one hand, we seek to understand how a resource system is structured to serve creativity, and on the other hand we try to identify the patterns that are inherent in the cycle of the creative activity of imagination. The reference situation, which is based on the creation of a collective tale following a school trip, is analyzed through the prism of the instrumental approach to provide an anthropocentric point of view on the technique (Rabardel 1995). We use models NAM (Decortis 2008) and MARO (Bationo-Tillon 2013) to take into account the diversity of the instruments (instructions of the teacher, interactions of the pupils, resource sheet, text, illustration, etc.) in posing classes of situation to map the creative and narrative activity.

Laura Anastasio Forcisi, Françoise Decortis

“Ergonomics on the Ground”: A Case Study of Service Learning in Ergonomics Education

Service-learning combines academic learning with community-based service, is a pedagogical method that bridges the gap between traditional teaching approaches and prepares students to practice. In partnership with the Centre for Biological Control (CBC), we initiated a service-learning course aimed at providing a practical component for an Ergonomics Honours course. We were interested in how the course influenced student understanding of Human Factors and Ergonomics and Wilson’s (2014) six notions, which were used as the theoretical basis for the course. Sixteen students worked alongside a group of people with disabilities (PWD) employed at the CBC to mass rear and harvest insects used to control invasive plant species. The students spent four hours a week for four weeks at the CBC mass rearing facility. Thereafter, students responded to questions aimed at exploring: how the SL course impacted their understanding of Wilson’s notions; what they found challenging and enjoyable and what could be improved upon in the course. Student responses were analysed thematically. The experience enhanced the students’ discipline-specific knowledge, particularly how they could apply the theory to the context, but it was evident that the students needed more time and more exposure to the system to derive a more detailed, nuanced understanding of the theory and how it related to practice. The SL course appears to have enhanced the students’ understanding of HFE and its importance in contexts such as the CBC. The feedback from the students has also influenced the structure, aims and intended outcomes of this year’s course to ensure that the course is mutually beneficial.

Jonathan Davy, Kim Weaver, Andrew Todd, Sharli Paphitis

A Quantitative Content Analysis of L1 and L2 English Writings Using a Text Mining Approach

This study aimed to explore personal letters written in English as the first language (L1) and the second language (L2) using a text mining approach. The purpose of this study is to examine the usage of emotional expressions in English letters written by native English writers and Japanese learners of English. Among the emotions, affection and condolence are focused on. This study is also interested in confirming whether quantitative content analysis can obtain the same results as those shown by an analysis using a different method. Production experiments were carried out to compare the usage of English emotional expressions by Japanese university students with that of native English writers. All the subjects were instructed to write two kinds of personal letters; a love letter and a letter of condolence, under certain conditions. The contents of the letters were analyzed by means of the “text mining” method. Words frequently used in the letters were obtained, and a co-occurrence network of major words was created to investigate the relationships among words, which helped to understand how the writers expressed their emotions in English. Different linguistic features and patterns were observed in the letters written by the native English writers and those by the Japanese learners of English, respectively. It was also shown that quantitative content analysis supported the results obtained in another study using a different method. The results of this study showed quantitative content analysis is reliable method to better understand texts.

Ikuyo Kaneko

Effect of Redesigning School Furniture Based on Students’ Anthropometry in North-West Nigeria

Mismatch between classroom furniture and the students’ anthropometry have been identified as a major cause of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among schoolchildren. This paper is aimed at investigating the prevalence of MSDs and the effect of furniture intervention among students of tertiary institutions in Northwest Nigeria. The Cornell’s MSD questionnaire was used to investigate the prevalence of MSDs in different body regions of 174 students aged between 17 and 25 years. Eleven students’ anthropometric measures, relevant to furniture design, were gathered using appropriate equipment. Standardized regression equations for furniture design were used to compute the ergonomically compliant furniture dimensions for the participants. A new set of ergonomically designed furniture using the students’ anthropometry was introduced and the Cornell’s MSD questionnaire was used to investigate if the intervention made was significant or not. The first findings based on the questionnaire shows a high prevalent rate of MSDs especially at the back, neck and upper back among the students. Comparison of the obtained dimensions from the students’ anthropometry with that of the existing furniture shows significant level of mismatch. The most significant variations were identified in the elbow height/Table height, and popliteal/seat height. New furniture compactible with the students’ anthropometry was introduced in one of the institutions and a retest using the Cornell’s MSD shows a reduction in the prevalence rate among the students. However, there is still need for ergonomic enlightenment on safe study posture to further reduce the occurrence of MSDs.

Ademola James Adeyemi, Paul Ojile, Muyideen Abdulkadir, Olusegun Isa Lasisi

Digital Discrimination: An Ergonomic Approach to Emotional Education for the Prevention of Cyberbullying

The aim of this study is to shed some light on the complex relationship between cognitive, socio-affective and contextual (i.e. the technology and the way in which it is used) factors, which intervene in the context of prosocial and antisocial behavior, both in the real and virtual world. Results coming from a survey with a sample of 264 subjects show that those who perform victimization on the Internet are more likely to be more dependent on the use of the Internet and stay on social networks for more time in a day. In addition, while the aggressive behavior and the disengagement seem to be more correlated with a detachment towards the victim and therefore to a lower level of affective empathy, the helping behavior seems to be characterized by a greater cognitive capacity and a greater understanding of the other.

Margherita Bracci, Alison Margaret Duguid, Enrica Marchigiani, Paola Palmitesta, Oronzo Parlangeli

Playful Learning for Kids with Special Educational Needs

It has been verified that today in the Italian schools there are about 15–20% of students presenting different kinds of “Special Educational Needs”. In order to respond to BES, the schools follow the Customized Learning Plan (PDP), a useful tool for designing operational models, strategies, systems and learning criteria for each student. For the various operators involved in the treatment of the disorders and also for the parents, it is of great importance to have adequate, efficient and flexible support tools that respect the desires and the enthusiasm of children of different age, without creating additional psychological and social discomfort. This research presents a particular relevance focus on the issue of management of entertainment and playful learning through digital systems offering a ‘playful interaction’. New concepts of ‘game’ and ‘device for interactive activities’ offer screen-based compounds to scenarios on the relation between user and device, including physical activities or integrated physical gestures, which relate the observation of screen to the physical reality.

Elisabetta Cianfanelli, Pierluigi Crescenzi, Gabriele Goretti, Benedetta Terenzi

Influence of Varying Backpack Loading and Velotypes on the Spatiotemporal Parameters of Gait and Energy Cost of Ambulation Among Primary School Children in Nigeria

Short Title: Influence of Backpack Loading and Velotypes on School Children’s Gait Performance

Objective: To determine the effects of backpack loading and velotypes on Gait Parameters (GP) and Energy Cost of Ambulation (ECA) among Primary School Children (PSC) in Nigeria.Method: A self-controlled cross-over study design, participants walked a 10 m distance at normal, slow and fast velotypes without backpack, carrying a backpack of 10%, 15%, and 20% of their Body Weights (BW). Gait parameters (stride length, stride duration, gait velocity, swing duration and Double support duration) were assessed using validated equations while ECA was assessed using the Ralstron’s equation. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and repeated measure ANOVA at α = 0.05.Results: A total of 69 PSC participated in this study. Over 25% of them carried backpack >10% of their BW. At normal velotype, most of the GP and ECA at the different backpack loadings had no significant difference (P > 0.05). At slower and faster velotypes, all the parameters were significantly different (p < 0.05) when compared across the different backpack categories with the exception of double support duration at slower velotype (F = 3.191, p = 0.056). Post hoc revealed that the most profound change in most of the parameters occurred at the 20% backpack loading phase. The ECA was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in slow velotype than the other velotypes in all categories of backpack loading.Conclusion: Carrying a backpack load up to 20% body weight significantly affects energy cost of ambulation and gait parameters of primary school children. Irrespective of the backpack weights, energy cost of ambulation is highest at slow velotype.

Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu, Callistus Chukwuwendu Okigbo, Adaobi Justina Okemuo, Chioma N. Ikele

Text Neck, More Technology, Less Health?

The term text neck or neck of text is a term introduced by Dr Dean Firhsman [1] and that has taken force little by little, and is described as the result of the excessive use of the mobile, typical of those who keep their heads too long downward and forward to see your cell phone. The repetition and constancy of this position can generate a permanent injury, whose main cause is the weight of the head.According to the study “Evaluation of tensions in the cervical spine and posture caused by the position of the head” published by the surgeon Kenneth Hansraj, our head weighs between 4.5 and 5.5 kg. However, depending on the angle you are in, the effective weight increases. That is, if the head is at 15 °, the effective weight, which falls on the neck reaches 12.25 kg, this is the case when handling a mobile device (Smartphone, Tablet, among others). Typical symptoms are headache, pain in shoulders and neck [2].Likewise. In Colombia in 2015, a survey conducted by Deloitte was applied, where issues related to the types of devices that are possessed, connectivity and usage trends were addressed. It was answered by a thousand people, men and women between the ages of 16 and 44, including people from the rural and urban sectors. With this in mind, we set out to investigate the effects of the excessive use of these mobile devices on young people.

Sandra Zamira Genez Tarrifa, Ricardo De la Hoz Lara

Incidence of the Psychosocial Risk at Work: A Case Study of Technical Teachers at City of Morón

The teaching exercise environment sets the workplace where pedagogic processes are carried out. The negative impact that is the result of the things that happen to the teacher or his educational environment configure the way people interact with each other. Considering every classroom of every school with every course is different, the intention is to show which are the dimensions that could impact most in their psyche; psychosocial factors are the influence of the issues inherent in the human condition, on the psyche of people; are those characteristics of working conditions and, above all, of their organization that affect the health of people through psychological and physiological mechanisms. The aim of the work is to carry out a brief analysis of the psychosocial dimensions that affect the technical school teachers and contribute to promote the improvement of working conditions in order to protect life, preserve and maintain the psychophysical integrity of workers. Taking as a case study the public technical schools of the city of Morón in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, it was decided to use the CoPsoQ that is an international instrument for the research, evaluation and prevention of psychosocial risks in its Spanish short version ISTAS 21. According to the results, we proceed to develop a table of priorities in function of a matrix to reach an approach of the dimensions that affect the most education workers. The results show that the dimension that most affect these workers are the pace of work and the predictability respect to the future and the most favorable are the double presence and the possibility of development.

Concepción Nicolás Hernán

Maximum Acceptable Weight of Lift in Adolescence Aged 15 to Less Than 18 Years Old

By Convention No. 138 specifies the minimum age for working children which it must not be lower than the age of completing compulsory education and lower than 15 years old. The allowable work for working children must not be harmful to children’s health, must be safe and not against good morals. Manual material handling is common tasks can be found in many conditions of working children aged 15 to less than 18 years old, especially lifting tasks. The lifting tasks may exceed the children’s capacity and may lead them to problems of accumulative fatigue, musculoskeletal disorders and other health effects in the future. This study was conducted not only to determine what maximum weight is accepted by the children but also to compare its’ results with NIOSH lifting equation whether suitable for working children or not. This research experiment get permission and approval from Thammasat University Research Ethics Subcommittee 3. The study of lifting tasks by simulating works in laboratory and applying psychophysical criteria shows that the maximum acceptable weight is significantly different between boys and girls. Increasing lifting frequency can significantly affect to the MAWL. The MAWL based on psychophysical criterion seems not to be different when lifting frequencies more than 1 lift/minute. The RWL (at origin) calculated from NISOH lifting equation based on the load constant recommended by ISO11295:2014 are higher than the MAWL of this study. It is possible using NIOSH lifting equation to assess risk of manual lifting at origin may be underestimate when applying to working children situation.

Naris Charoenporn, Amata Outama, Teeraphan Kaewdok, Poramate Earde, Patchree Kooncumchoo

Interdisciplinary Adaptation and Extension of the User Experience Questionnaire for Videos in Learning Environments

A digital transformed or perpetual disruptive working environment will change working processes just as on-the-job trainings at work. Using video sequences in diverse scenarios is actually growing like for instruction, training on the job and information brokerage in case of fault reporting. The utilization of mobile devices with their highly intuitive software makes it possible. To ensure a user centered employment of such video sequences adaption of the method for evaluation is necessary. The evaluation method User Experience Questionnaire (UEQ DIN ISO 9241-210) as an approach to explore the perceived quality of a product means its appeal and usability in form of its objective and subjective effects. An adaption of the method UEQ is necessary for video sequences because of additional items like music, cuts and flashes. The adaption and extension process of UEQ includes the disciplines of media psychology and analyses of film realized in a mixed method approach. An analyses of central documents of those disciplines leads to a first extension of the UEQ. Afterwards an interdisciplinary focus group of lecturers formulates criteria independently according to pragmatic and hedonic quality. Based on a qualitative analyses of this focus group a second extension of the UEQ followed. Finally this version was tested interdisciplinary again with tutorials about technics for ideation processes by students of product-and process management, ergonomics and wood design.

Aline Lohse, Alexander Aust, Janina Röder, Angelika C. Bullinger

Way-Finding and Communication Design as Strategic Systems to Improve the Well-Being of Children in Paediatric Hospitals

In recent years there has been a growing need to design way-finding systems and communication more effectively, as we realize the great importance they have in everyday people’s life, becoming necessary and operative guidelines tools for improving the quality of life. Sometimes these tools are used as simple signposting or mere decorations designed to embellish a specific space, as happens in place dedicated to children. Instead they are very important and strategic instruments able to improve the liveability and usability of specific environment by different kind of users. Among these ones, the children are very particular, because they feel, think and behave in a very different way beside the adults. Generally, the hospital environment causes a high level of stress in children. Indeed, because of their young ages, they have a very limited experience and therefore they do not have the psychological and emotional state to deal with kind of stressful environment.Way-finding systems and communication design products improving the user experience, are able not only to orient children inside unknown spaces, but also to make “familiar” a place never seen before, making the child feels at ease, avoiding or reducing the stress that this place can bring to the user.

Laura Giraldi, Marta Maini, Donatella Meloni

Racial Effect on the Recommended Safe Weight for Backpack Users Among Schoolchildren

Racial differences associated with variation in diet, climate and culture, may pose a challenge in developing a globally acceptable safe backpack weight for schoolchildren. This study therefore investigates the suitability of a multivariate backpack-related back pain model in a multiracial society such as Malaysia. Back pain related data from an average of 205 Malay, Chinese and Indian Schoolchildren were fitted into a proposed backpack-related back pain model and also into a regression model to predict safe weight from percentage body weight (PBW), body mass index and age in order to determine the level of fit. While the three racial models met the minimum requirements of the different goodness-of-fit indices, there were uncaptured significant relationships peculiar to each racial model in the proposed model. Notwithstanding, the combination of age, BMI and PBW are better predictors of back pain occurrence among the children in the three ethnic groups.

Ademola James Adeyemi, Jafri Mohd Rohani, Mat Rebi AbdulRani

Human Factors/Ergonomics Education and Certification: The Canadian Experience

The Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists (CCCPE) is responsible for ensuring certificants (CCPE and AE) meet minimum educational levels and at least four years work practice (for CCPE). The Association of Canadian Ergonomists – Association canadienne d’ergonomie supports the CCCPE but each educational institution determines the number and scope of ergonomics course offerings. Relevant courses exist at institutions across Canada, with the exception of the full-time programs in the Prairie provinces, but in limited number. Only four programs are designed currently to ensure graduates qualify for AE, two in Ontario in English for Kinesiology students and two in Québec in French open to various undergraduate degree holders. Nineteen post-secondary institutions offer some ergonomics courses but their number and focus varies, most frequently offered within kinesiology or movement science programs. The number of qualified, certified human factors and ergonomics practitioners is growing well, but could improve with more courses for those in the Prairie region and those with non-kinesiology backgrounds outside of Québec.

Nancy Black, Judy Village

Musculoskeletal Disorders in Indian School Children Due to Carrying Heavy Back Packs

Heavy back packs have been reported to result in pain in upper back, shoulder and neck in school children. A retrospective analysis of clinical records from a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and Rehabilitation Physician’s practice in a tertiary level Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation centre in India found 62 children diagnosed with severe MSD attributed to carrying overloaded backpacks. The severity of the pain was such that the child was forced to miss school for at least a day and receive physiotherapy. 37 (59.7%) of the affected children were females and 36 (58.1%) children were of age 10–15 years. Pain in the upper back (72%), neck (56%), shoulder (52%) and lower back (44%) was most common followed by forearm and wrist (24%). The mean duration of discomfort was 24 days and the mean load of the back pack was 12.5 kg. All the children were found to be carrying backpacks more than 15% of their body weights.

Deepak Sharan

Musculoskeletal Disorders in 115 Students Due to Overuse of Electronic Devices: Risk Factors and Clinical Features

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are common in students, usually comprising of children, adolescents and young adults, ranging from 30% to 65%. The pathophysiology of MSD is multifactorial. The use of electronic devices (computer, electronic games, portable music players, electronic book readers, tablets and cell phones) has been reported as a risk factor associated with MSD. A total of 115 subjects between the age of 5 to 25 years were evaluated in the study. The evaluation and diagnosis were performed by a single orthopaedic and rehabilitation physician between the years of 2005 to 2017. 53% (n = 61) of the participants were males. The commonly used electronic devices were cell phone (80%), tablet (70%), laptop (65%), electronic games (54%), desktop computer (45%), portable music players (5%), and electronic book readers (2%). The commonest risk factors for MSD were identified as lack of rest breaks (85%), static loading (70%), hazardous body positions (60%), excessive load (30%), deficiency in design of tools/furniture or poor ergonomics (30%) and repetition (20%).

Deepak Sharan


Additional information

Premium Partner

image credits