Skip to main content

2022 | Book

Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021)

Volume V: Methods & Approaches


About this book

This book presents the proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021), held online on June 13-18, 2021. 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: Working with Computer Systems, Human Modelling and Simulation, Neuroergonomics, Biomechanics, Affective Design, Anthropometry, Advanced Imaging.

Table of Contents

Correction to: Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021)

In the original version of the book, the following belated corrections have been incorporated: The author name “Yue (Sophia) Li” has been changed to “Sofia Scataglini” in the part VI.

Nancy L. Black, W. Patrick Neumann, Ian Noy

Part I: Affective Design (Edited by Rosemary Ruiz Seva)

Design for UX in Flexible Offices – Bringing Research and Practice Together

A growing number of organisations are relocating from traditional office environments to flexible office environments (FOEs) such as ‘combi’ or ‘activity-based’ offices. Research efforts are being dedicated to understanding the challenges and benefits that these office designs represent. Yet, there is a gap between design research and practice that limits innovations in FOE design and smears the overall user experience at work. This paper addresses the exploration of design opportunities for artefacts and spaces enabling positive user experience (UX) in FOEs together with experts from a relevant European actor in the office furniture sector. First, an explorative workshop was conducted to understand practitioners’ perspective and priorities when designing for FOEs. Findings from previous research work by the authors plus the workshop results were used to propose and discuss four ‘Design for UX’ areas worth of further exploration. Among these, the UX of control in FOEs was chosen, and a subsequent workshop was conducted to deepen into the matter. The last session concluded with the formulation of a specific UX proposal to be developed in the near future. The value and originality of this paper reside in two aspects: (i) a UX approach that relies on the ‘innovation of meaning’ and splits from a creative problem-solving mainstream; and (ii) a collaboration between user-centered design research and product development practice that enable the alignment of resources and strategies in the benefit of users and innovation.

Antonio Cobaleda-Cordero, Maral Babapour
Outlining Experience and Well-Being in the Interaction with Social Media Apps

Social media apps (SMAs), like Instagram or Facebook, are actively used by one-in-three people in the world. The vast adoption of these technologies is changing multiple aspects of peoples’ lives. Through the means of meaning and emotional experiences, the products people use every day have the potential of influencing their happiness and wellbeing. The present work points and discusses which themes are more prominent and relevant regarding how users engage with SMAs and how it can relate to their wellbeing. Through the discussion of a systematic literature review and other seminal works, the study proposes four main channels the interaction with SMAs can relate to users’ wellbeing: interpersonal relationships, information consumption, self-image, and relationship with technology. The study also hypothesizes on how SMAs as interactive products can deliver experiences that nurture users’ wellbeing, on top of being pleasurable and usable.

Beatriz de Paulo, Manuela Quaresma
Affective Trash Bin Signage to Promote Waste Segregation

Signages that elicit guilt is an effective strategy in influencing segregation behaviour especially if it includes a statement of action and an appropriate picture to illustrate the consequence of bad behavior. This paper examines the direct effect of signage design factors: type of guilt statement and pictorial component to guilt. Clarity of purpose was considered as a mediating variable between the design factors and guilt, while guilt proneness was considered as moderating variable between guilt and segregation behavior. The evaluation of the model was done through a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with a data set count of 404. There was no significant effect in the use of actual picture and cartoon in promoting the clarity of purpose of a signage. The mediating effect of clarity of purpose was established between the design factors and guilt, while guilt proneness also moderated the relationship between guilt and segregation behavior.

Arvidas Kio Dy, Margarita Lazo, Andreana Gabrielle Santos, Rosemary Seva
Analysis of Geometric Features of 3D Shapes on Perception of Product Appearance for Visual Brand Affiliation

Products can be assigned to a brand by their visual similarity. An important factor here is the shape of the products. Previous methods for determining similarity for brand affiliation can only be applied to products with the same layout. For products with different structures (e.g. power tools), no methods exist for the 3D shape. Here, there is a need for research in order to be able to specifically design products similarly (or dissimilarly) for brand affiliation. The shape parameters that are independent of layout and are highly relevant for this purpose are determined on the basis of the perception (evoked feelings) of shapes. The approach implies that the communication of the corporate identity also takes place via the product appearance. Similar perceptions of the products lead to a perceived similarity. The results are based on a literature review of research in the field of affective design, emotional design and kansei engineering. The following 3D shape parameters were determined as important in descending order: edge/corner type, line and surface type, element amount (number of lines/edges and surfaces). Furthermore, the shape parameters are specified in 3D space.

Matthias Sebastian Fischer, Daniel Holder, Thomas Maier
Affective – Cognitive – Usability (ACU) Model Incorporating Eye Tracking Analysis for Redesigning the e-Commerce Website

This study discusses the investigation of how both cognitive and affective factors bring significant impact on the usability in e-commerce website selling consumer products. It raises a question of which one is more dominant, whether it is cognition or affect for consumer experience? It is a critical thing to investigate. Eye tracking analysis is utilized to emphasize concerns related to comfortable display. A case study on a popular e-commerce website of consumer products in Indonesia was taken to validate the proposed model. Through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), it shows that affect was found to be more dominant than that of cognition in affecting to usability. In order to provide more applicable improvement strategy related to efficiency of display, eye tracking analysis was used. The analysis referred to metrics that have been designed in the research of Ehmke and Wilson [1] which focuses on the number of fixations and revisits in the Area of Interest (AOI). The most critical proposed improvement was that to change the location of the product price ordering menus so that they are adjacent to where the search results filter elements are located in that e-commerce website. Practical and theoretical implications were discussed as well.

Markus Hartono, Argo Hadi Kusumo, Dwilita Aprilin Asikin
The Functions of Computer-Mediated Touch at a Distance: An Interactionist Approach

Touch is essential in our relationships and social interactions. Our study aims at understanding the functions of touch as they are co-constructed in computer-mediated interaction. We observed three couples interacting during one hour at distance with a simple touch device. On the basis of an interactionist approach, we identified correspondences between touch occurrences and (a) the structure of the dialogue and (b) the emotional tonalities of the interaction. Our results highlight three types of functions of touch: interaction management (e.g., turn taking), emotional communication (e.g., emphasis) and behavioural touches (e.g., mimicry).

Robin Héron, Stéphane Safin, Michael Baker, Françoise Détienne
Merging Total Design and User Centered Design for Designing a Mountable Toy: Achieving a Useful, Functional and Desirable Product

Through a hybrid design model that fuses key elements of the Total Design and User Centered Design approach and focusing on the safety of the child in and out of the water, cooperative socialization and a timeless life cycle as main design aspects, we developed a terrestrial-aquatic ride on toy proposal which generates feelings of attachment, unforgettable memories and an emotional bond with the product. Playing is extremely essential for fulfilling early childhood development needs and ride on toys promote a complete socialization in early stages. We accomplished all design requirements with this new hybrid design methodology centered both in the user and in the functional value of the product; resulting in a product that enhances a strong emotional bond and a better life cycle, achieving a desirable, useful and valuable product.

Julieta María Covarrubias Cruz, María Fernanda De La Rocha Barbosa, Fernanda Santos Rivera, Pilar Hernández-Grageda
Behavioral and Cognitive Methods to Assess Users and Assist Physical Point of Sale Experience Design

The rise of digital stores and new shopping formats require designers and retailers to rethink the role of physical point of sale and the experience they offer to users. According to some reports on consumer behavior, carried out by Global Data in 2017, physical stores, when compared to the digital ones, have been losing significant space in people’s daily lives in the last decade, seen by many as the era of the customer. Inadequate to the current users’ needs, many brands that still offer traditional experiences at their stores and not take into account, for instance, sensory stimulation and technology, end up becoming obsolete and having difficulty navigating in the current fast-moving market. Now with the recent Coronavirus pandemic situation, consumers seem to have drastically shifted to e-commerce since online shopping appears to be the safest and fastest way to purchase goods or services. This exploratory research seeks to investigate and compare, in the existing literature, both in human factors and in related areas, the main cognitive and behavioral methods that can be applied in the evaluation of users as in the process of designing experience at the physical point of sale.

Paulo Eduardo Hauqui Tonin
Design Process of a Mountable Toy Based on Total Design and User Centered Design Methodologies

In this work we start from the idea that an isolated design methodology cannot be used with the purpose of simultaneously ensure usability outcomes and technical feasibility results. Since mountable toys are among the most used by young children nowadays, they were chosen to be the product that serves to validate how to apply a hybrid design method, using both User Centered Design and Total Design methodologies combined in an orderly and systematic process that can be replicated in future product design or redesign processes that seek, at the same time, to generate desirable products that match the needs of users, and that meet functionality standards.

Ana Sofía Olivares Jiménez, María Inés Ibarra Caballero, Lilia Atziri Urías Dueñas, Pilar Hernández-Grageda

Part II: Anthropometry (Edited by Karen Bredenkamp)

Anthropometric Indices and Nutritional Status of Infants in Nigeria – A Preliminary Study

Paediatric anthropometric database is important for child product design and their public health plans. This is unavailable in Nigeria and most developing nations. This study aims to provide a preliminary anthropometric database of infants in our environment and determine how they relate with their nutritional status. This cross-sectional survey was conducted among 108 infants recruited from a health centre in Enugu East LGA. Anthropometric variables (body weight; head, abdominal, chest, wrist, forearm, mid arm and mid-thigh circumferences; shoulder breadth; crown-to-rump, crown-to-sole, rump-to-sole, shoulder-to-elbow lengths etc.) were assessed using standard procedures. Nutritional status was assessed using the Weech formula and the Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) index. Data obtained were analyzed descriptively, while chi-square test was used to determine the association between variables at α = 0.05. A total of 53 females and 55 males participated in this study. Their mean age, birth weight, and total body weight were 10.64 ± 5.46 weeks, 3.30 ± 0.59 kg, and 5.61 ± 1.00 kg respectively. Their mean head, abdominal, mid-arm, and mid-thigh circumferences were 40.01 ± 1.92 cm, 42.21 ± 3.22 cm, 13.01 ± 1.22 cm, and 19.50 ± 2.47 cm respectively. The (75th, 95th) percentile of their chest circumference, mid arm circumference, shoulder breath and total body weight were (42.00 cm, 44.50 cm), (13.88 cm, 15.11 cm), (17.38 cm, 19.00 cm) and (6.30 cm, 7.56 cm) respectively. There was significant association between nutritional status [(Weech), (MUAC)] and each of chest circumference [(x2 = 52.42, p < 0.0001), (x2 = 95.88, p = 0.010)], abdominal circumference [(x2 = 68.25, p < 0.0001), (x2 = 115.58, p = 0.010)], foerarm circumference [(x2 = 45.19, p < 0.0001), (x2 = 151.90, p < 0.0001)], and wrist circumference[(x2 = 46.94, p < 0.0001), (x2 = 146.19, p < 0.0001)]. The protocol is pragmatic and some selected anthropometric variables of infants can relied upon to determine their nutritional status.

Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu, Chiamaka Chinyere Anyaene, Ogechukwu Ikefuna, Emmanuel Nwabueze Aguwa, Israel Chijioke Iroezindu, Theodora A. Okeke, Susan U. Arinze-Onyia
Mexican Older-Adult Sitting and Standing Anthropometric Dimensions. Comparison with Other Populations

The results of an anthropometric study carried out with 425 older adults of both sexes are presented. The research was carried out in a Social Center for Older Adults by Day in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara. The sample consisted of 319 female and 106 male subjects. Thirty-nine anthropometric parameters were measured, and tables were built with the collected data. The anthropometric measures were compared to previous studies on Mexican older-adult populations. Those from other countries, as part of the overarching goal for improving the interactions between the older-adult user population, their environment, and the objects themselves. By applying a t-test to compare the dimensions between men and women, we found statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) in the analyzed measurements, except for maximum body depth and thigh height. Likewise, it was possible to verify the secular trend of weight and height in the studied population, finding that the older the age, the smaller these dimensions are. The data obtained were compared with those of studies of older adults of other nationalities. Statistically significant differences were found (p = 0.01) with women from Italy [1], Brazil [2], and Sweden [3].

Elvia Luz González-Muñoz, Rosalio Avila Chaurand, John A. Rey Galindo, Gabriel Ibarra Mejia
Firefighters’ Anthropometrics: A Comparison Between Two Portuguese Fire Brigades

In firefighting, fit and sizing of personal protective equipment are directly related with the protection level, work performance, and comfort of firefighters. Furthermore, proper fit and sizing depend on appropriate sizing systems and the validity of the data from which they were constructed. Thus, anthropometric data are paramount for personal protective equipment design. Despite recent studies, anthropometric databases on firefighters are still very limited. Aiming to fulfill this shortcoming as well as to understand if Portuguese firefighters’ protective equipment is adjusted to their anthropometrics, a study designated as Size FF Portugal – Anthropometric Study of Portuguese Firefighters is currently underway. This paper presents a preliminary comparison of anthropometric data of firefighters from two different fire brigades: a mixed brigade and a professional brigade. Results of an initial analysis show that participants from the professional brigade were on average 29 mm taller than participants from the mixed brigade. Moreover, participants from the mixed brigade were on average 6.93 kg heavier. Further, results of inferential ANOVA test at a 95% confidence level revealed statistically significant differences of the stature and weight between career-volunteer firefighters from the mixed brigade and career firefighters from the professional brigade. Furthermore, an examination of Body Mass Index revealed that 71.88% of all participants from the mixed brigade as well as 41.58% of participants from the professional brigade were considered above the normal weight range. Differences of anthropometric measurements between the two fire brigades reveal the relevance in developing a more comprehensive yet detailed anthropometric database of Portuguese firefighters.

Anna S. P. Moraes, Miguel A. F. Carvalho, Rachel S. Boldt, Fernando B. N. Ferreira, Susan P. Ashdown, Linsey Griffin
A Motion Capture System for Hand Movement Recognition

One of the most frequently-used body regions in daily activities is the upper limbs, and many of the work-related musculoskeletal disorders occur in this area, mainly the hands. We highlight the importance of studying hand movements executed at work, and how they affect workers’ health and productivity. Data were collected from a hand-motion capture system conformed by six inertial measurement units and six resistive force sensors from hand and fingers movements. Two common hand movements were analyzed using wrist flexion-extension with a small (−15° to 15°) and medium (<−15° and >15°) range of motion and flexion-extension movement with the hand pronated-supinated. Data were classified by traditional methods. A more complex movement involving a 3-finger spherical grip was also recorded. It was found that the lectures from the six inertial sensors and the six force resistive sensors showed a pattern that facilitates the recognition of basic and more complex movements (flexion-extension and spheric handgrip) through visual analysis of the plotted data, even at different ranges of motion.

Graciela Rodríguez-Vega, Dora Aydee Rodríguez-Vega, Xiomara Penelope Zaldívar-Colado, Ulises Zaldívar-Colado, Rafael Castillo-Ortega
Hand Shape Modeling for the Mexican Population

Anthropometric characteristics should be considered in the hand tools, workstations, and product design to diminish the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Even though univariate approaches disadvantages when used in multivariate analysis, most designs are based on the traditional percentile anthropometric data. This study obtained hand models through the univariate percentile values (1–99%) and two multivariate approaches: Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Archetypal Analysis (AA) based on four hand dimensions. Fourteen hand models were obtained by the PCA, while three, five, and nine archetypal analysis k-value were selected after a root sum of squares analysis for k = 1,…, 12 archetypes. Results suggest that AA models could provide higher accommodation levels, followed by PCA models and percentile values.

Graciela Rodríguez-Vega, Xiomara Penelope Zaldívar-Colado, Ulises Zaldívar-Colado, Enrique Javier De la Vega-Bustillos, Dora Aydee Rodríguez-Vega

Part III: Biomechanics (Edited by Rauf Iqbal)

Effects of a Back-Support Exoskeleton on Pelvis-Thorax Kinematics and Coordination During Lifting

We assessed the effects of a commercially available passive back support exoskeleton device on pelvis thorax kinematics and coordination. Eight male participants performed randomized block trials of 8 freestyle, symmetrical lifting tasks of a 13 kg container with or without use of the device. We obtained whole body kinematic data using an inertial motion capture system. We used Principal component analysis (PCA) to discern angular position and velocity waveform variations between conditions and assessed inter-segmental coordination using continuous relative phase measures. For joint angular position, only 1 PC exhibited statistical significance across conditions. This PC, which explained 10% of the loading vector variation, was interpreted as a phase shift feature. For joint angular velocity profiles, 2 PCs statistically differed between conditions. We interpreted these PCs as local magnitude difference features, particularly at the initial portion of the lift cycle. We did not detect a significant main effect of device usage or lifting phase on pelvis-thorax coordination. Our preliminary results suggest that use of a passive back support exoskeleton changes joint kinematics, but not inter-segment coordination during performance of a lifting task. These results may help understand device usability and interaction.

Sivan Almosnino, Rong Huangfu, Jessica Cappelletto
Measurement of Work-Related Physical Workloads - Proposal for a Body Region-Related Categorization System

In this article a proposal for categorization of measurement systems for recording and assessing of work-related musculoskeletal workloads and disorders (MSD) for body region-related risk assessments is presented. It consists of three categories according to the different user groups: operational practitioner (Cat 1), ergonomic expert (Cat 2) and scientist (Cat 3). Principal characteristics of measuring systems in the categories 1, 2 and 3 are derived from common measurement setups and application cases. For the body regions upper extremities, spine, lower extremities implementations for the associated risk factors, measurement technique and parameters as well as assessment approaches are presented.

Rolf Ellegast, Britta Weber, Christoph Schiefer, Kai Heinrich, Ingo Hermanns-Truxius
Optimization of Product Handle Material Mechanical Properties for Improved Ergonomics Using Finite Element Method and Subjective Response

Finite element method (FEM) is being increasingly used in ergonomics and biomechanics lately, since it can provide various quantitative results, which are otherwise not obtainable, however, it does not provide any results in terms of subjective rating. Therefore, in this paper we investigated to what extent the quantitative results of FEM can be used to predict the subjective comfort rating. We focused on the optimization of the product handle material parameters to lower the contact pressure while maintaining the stability of the handle in hands. Basic criterion of pressure discomfort threshold has been used for the FEM approach. Deformable meta-material interface layer of a product handle has been manufactured using 3D printing technology based on the obtained results. Additionally, one handle with higher stiffness, one with lower stiffness and handle made from hard plastic have been manufactured for comparison. A sawing task has been utilized for the evaluation of the subjective comfort rating. Results have shown the material properties of the deformable handle obtained by FEM with optimization yielded in higher comfort rating when compared to the hard-plastic handle while maintaining same stability. Stiffer deformable handle showed slight increase in comfort rating with similar perceived stability, while softer deformable handle was rated lower in terms of subjective comfort and provided less stability. Results indicate FEM can be successfully used for initial material parameter identification; however subjective response needs to be considered for fine tuning of the material behavior.

Gregor Harih, Andrej Cupar, Jasmin Kaljun, Bojan Dolšak
Evaluation of Force Exertion Strategies During Repetitive Lifting/Lowering Tasks Based on Time-Frequency Analysis

This study aimed to evaluate the force exertion strategies during repetitive luggage lifting/lowering tasks based on time-frequency analysis. Right-handed male subjects participated in this experiment and repetitively performed a sequential task including luggage lifting and lowering for 25 times. To vary the workload on the right and left hands, the luggage used in this experiment was designed to enable the modification of the location of additional heavy goods. The experimental conditions included scenarios wherein heavy goods were installed to the right side, center, and left side on the top of the luggage and scenarios without additional heavy goods. In the experiment, the handling force on each hand was measured using two six-axis force-torque sensors at a sampling frequency of approximately 50 Hz. The measured handling forces were analyzed using a short-time Fourier transformation, and the median frequency was calculated. In the scenario where additional heavy goods were installed, the median frequency of handling force on the left hand increased whereas that on the right hand decreased with time. In conclusion, the present study clarified that participants adopted different force exertion strategies with the left and right hands or under experimental conditions and that the applied strategies can be evaluated based on time-frequency analysis.

Kazuki Hiranai, Miho Yaji, Akihiko Seo
A Wearable Device to Assess the Spine Biomechanical Overload in a Sample of Loggers

Forestry workers are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, awkward postures, and high intensity load handling that might lead to low back injuries. The objectives of our study were 1) to define the trunk postures associated with risk of low back injury in a sample of forestry workers involved in tree felling, delimbing and bucking tasks and 2) to identify prevention strategies that reduce the risk of low back injury. Forty loggers were selected among the population of forestry workers in the province of Enna, Sicily-Italy. Each worker was required to perform for a period of 30 min the three main tasks: felling, delimbing and bucking for a total of 90 min of working activity. All subjects involved in the study wore a Zephyr Bioharness device on their trunk, which enabled the recording of sagittal inclination of the trunk, heart rate, breathing rate, and an estimate of body temperature. The results indicated that the felling task required loggers to work more time in awkward postures. Additionally, sagittal inclination of the trunk was greater than 60° for the 13% of the time, compared with delimbing (3%), and bucking (11%). The percentage of time spent with the trunk in sagittal inclination greater than 60° was correlated with the use of heavy (>7,2 kg) chainsaws during the felling and in the delimbing tasks. The study results indicated that the trunk posture during tree delimbing and felling tasks contributed significantly to the risk of biomechanical overload among the loggers. Preventive strategies should focus on specific interventions that reduce biomechanical stress including worker training and implementation of ergonomic designed tool.

Federica Masci, Giovanna Spatari, Concetto Mario Giorgianni, Sara Bortolotti, John Rosecrance, Claudio Colosio
Relationship of Floor Material and Fall Risk Assessment During Descending Stairs

Japan is facing an aging population. A ten-fold increase in the incidence of falls was reported in the elderly (over 65 years) compared to younger individuals. Just as the risk for slips and falls increases with age, so too does the severity of the outcome of these accidents. Falls are often listed among the leading causes of serious unintentional injuries. Especially risk during stair negotiation. Stair falling accidents the multiple, interacting environmental and human factors involved. Among the environmental factors are properties of the walking-surface and shoe or foot (e.g. material properties, tread). Human factors include gait, expectation, the health of the sensory systems and the health of the neuromuscular system. In short stair design and environmental conditions may play a role in slip accidents. The objective of the present study the environment of the feet which are easy to operate and more secure during stair descent. Sixteen healthy volunteers (age range 20–24; 14 female, 2 male) participated in this study. Each subject performed stair descent and walking on a force plate (Kistler, 9286BA) in all 12 conditions. Measured knee joint angle and ankle angle by reflective markers respectively. There were 4 parts of surface reflective markers below: Greater trochanter (GT) Lateral malleolas (LM) Distal phalanges (DP). Measurement of trunk accelerometer, parts of surface trunk accelerometer below third cervical spine. It was that barefoot, two slippers (simple slippers (SS) or slippers (S)), nurse Shoes × three types of flooring (solid wood (SW) or carpet (C) or solid wood with non-slip (NS)). The trials were performed that three steps stair descent or walking was right stance phase. All signals were collected of 1 kHz sampling. All statistical analyses were performed the SAS University Edition and significance levels were set at p < 5%. The results of this study revealed that descending stairs barefoot reduces posture upset and body burden on the landing area. Collectively. The risk of falling increased because the use of the elderly experience kit was painful to bend the joint and the sense of balance decreased. Risking stair descent is related not only to remove slippers. The results of this study will help you develop appropriate renovations and foot environments tailored to the living environment.

Takeshi Sato, Mizuki Nakajima, Ryota Murano, Macky Kato, Kimie Nakajima
PEPPA - Exchange Platform for Measurements of Occupational Physical Activity and Physical Workload

Technical measurements allow an objective assessment of MSD risk factors at work. There is a need for common standards regarding data collection and processing, as well as an exchange platform storing measurement data of occupational physical activity and workload for further analysis. Several research institutes started a feasibility study to work on developing standards for assessment of risk factors and implement them in an exchange platform prototype.The first prototype already demonstrates a technical feasibility. Coordination and structure of the contents, as well as estimates of costs and efforts needed for further development need more examination in order to arrive at a final platform with good feasibility.

Christoph Schiefer, Vera Schellewald, Stefan Heßling, Ingo Hermanns-Truxius, Kévin Desbrosses, Marjolein Douwes, Francesco Draicchio, Henrik Enquist, Mikael Forsman, Nidhi Gupta, Andreas Holtermann, Reinier Konemann, Norbert Lechner, Peter Loewis, Satu Mänttäri, Svend Erik Mathiassen, Andrew Pinder, Peter Schams, Marianne Schust, Michaela Strebl, Kaj Bo Veiersted, Britta Weber, Rolf Ellegast
Biomechanical Simulation and a Detailed Analysis of the Roadside Cleaning Activity

Purpose: The commercial cleaning sector workers are prone to musculoskeletal disorders because of the monotonous burden and overexertion with awkward posture for an extended period. This study presents a detailed biomechanical approach for analyzing the roadside manual cleaning activity, which can help introduce suitable ergonomic interventions for workers' comfort.Method: Anthropometric information of ninety-two cleaning staff was utilized to generate the population for the Three-Dimensional Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP) software. The videography of the roadside cleaning activity is then analyzed in a frame-by-frame manner and replicated on the humanoid in software. The workers’ cleaning activities were classified into three categories, namely a) sweeping activity- collecting waste through the long broomstick; b) dumping activity- unloading gathered waste through dustpan, and c) scraping activity- removing mud and grass with a spade.Results: Analysis of the frames in 3DSSPP software of sweeping activity revealed that there were significant variation among back compression force (BCF) values but consistent for shear force (SF) values. Erector spinae muscle group, hand-load, and upper body weight contributed to BCF in the dumping activity. SF in the frontal plane was found in sweeping activity only and was most noticeable in the sagittal plane during scraping activity. ‘Strength percent capable’ values identified knee and hip as the limiting joints for dumping and scraping activity, respectively.Conclusion: Software-based analysis helped identify the prominent body parts under the influence of biomechanical overexertion during cleaning activity. It can also provide initial guidance for introducing interventions in the workspace.

Neelesh K. Sharma, Mayank Tiwari, Atul Thakur, Anindya K. Ganguli
Kerbside Waste Collection Round Risk Assessment by Means of Physiological Parameters: sEMG and Heart Rate

The occupational health risks in waste collection workers have been widely investigated. Many studies show that workers are exposed to several risk factors.Aim of the study is biomechanical risk assessment of kerbside waste collection workers. The paper focused on the task that literature showed as the most overloading, that is emptying the bin in the lorry. Simulations were made in a rubbish dump where upper limbs and trunk muscles activity were recorded through surface electromyography (sEMG) to verify the biomechanical load for the four emptying techniques usually adopted. It was also recorded heart rate of workers during the collection round to determine their Relative Cardiac Cost (RCC).sEMG results for the task of emptying the bin, showed a significant effort of the paravertebral muscles for each techniques. About upper limbs, sEMG showed that emptying the bin directly into the collection lorry from the back was the most overloading technique. This is due to the workers arms raise well over shoulder height. The lightest technique was the emptying of the bin inside a certified container but, due to its small volume, this led to an increase in collection round time. RCC results showed moderate activity, according to the Chamoux scale, in three of the four workers, only one of them showed a quite heavy activity.A redesign of the collection lorries with certified and larger containers would reduce the risk. It would be also desirable a turnover of employees to allow them to work alternatively in areas of high population density, with higher risk, and in low-density areas with lower risk.

Alessio Silvetti, Lorenzo Fiori, Antonella Tatarelli, Alberto Ranavolo, Francesco Draicchio
Using Complex Biomechanics Models to Communicate Simple Messages

Most people understand that lifting with the knees bent is better than lifting from the waist, but they have trouble comprehending how much better it is, or why. Using biomechanical analysis tools to provide objective proof that one specific method is better than another can help people understand the how and why. Unfortunately, biomechanical models output very complex information. Therefore, a way to succinctly express the difference between the two methods is needed. This presentation reviews the use of data from biomechanical analyses to help workers to choose biomechanically advantageous work methods, and suggests how to present these concepts effectively.

Carrie Taylor, Josie Blake
Overview of Measurement-Based Assessment Approaches from the MEGAPHYS Project

Technical systems are being used more and more frequently to analyze physical workloads. However, suitable approaches to evaluate the measured exposures with regard to their health hazards are lacking.New exposure indicators have been developed and evaluated, which allow a body region-specific risk assessment based on technically measured exposure parameters. The development and testing of the indicators was part of the MEGAPHYS project (multilevel risk assessment of physical exposures). Required exposure parameters were determined by kinematic, electromyography and heart rate recordings at 186 workplaces. Simultaneously, medical examinations of musculoskeletal complaints and diseases of 808 employees at these workplaces were conducted. Validity of the exposure indicators was checked by linking them to the results of the medical examinations.Numerous plausible associations were identified between the exposure indicators and specific body region-related health outcomes. A comprehensive and evaluated concept for measurement-based risk assessment is now available. The exposure indicators are applicable for measuring systems at different levels of complexity.

Britta Weber, Kai Heinrich, David H. Seidel, Ingo Hermanns-Truxius, Ulrike Hoehne-Hückstädt, Dirk Ditchen, Matthias Jäger, Lope H. Barrero, Rolf Ellegast

Part IV: Ergonomics in Advanced Imaging (Edited by Jukka Häkkinen)

Effects of Avatars on Street Crossing Tasks in Virtual Reality

Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are a commonly applied tool to analyze pedestrian behavior in virtual environments. However, compared to reality, one's own body can only be represented in the form of a virtual replica. The present study examined the effects of displaying different virtual self-representations, or avatars, in a street crossing task on presence, virtual body ownership, gap acceptance and virtual collisions. 29 participants were instructed to cross a one-lane street with varying gap sizes between vehicles ranging from 1 to 6 s. Two different avatar concepts (with or without hand and finger tracking) were compared to a baseline without any visual body self-representation. Crossing was repeated ten times in each avatar condition, resulting in a total of 30 trials per participant. There was no difference in presence scores between the conditions. The illusion of virtual body ownership was stronger for an avatar that featured hands and finger tracking compared to an avatar in which only the position of the hands was displayed based on two hand-held controllers. In trials in which any avatar was present, participants accepted significantly smaller gaps to cross the street. An equal number of virtual collisions was observed for both avatars and the baseline without an avatar.

Philipp Maruhn, Simon Hurst
Estimating Time to Contact in Virtual Reality: Does Contrast Matter?

Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly used in the research of pedestrian behavior. At the same time, empirical evidence suggests that perceptual processes in VR may deviate from real world. Such perceptual biases may affect the estimation of the time until a moving object reaches an observer (time to contact, TTC) - a parameter which is crucial to collision avoidance in the frequent use case of pedestrian street crossing.While several factors appear to influence TTC estimates, the present study focused on the effects of reduced visual contrast and a potential interaction with speed effects. In a virtual street environment, participants indicated the moment at which they expected an approaching vehicle to pass them. In line with earlier findings, TTC estimates tended to increase at higher speed, whereas effects of contrast were insignificant. While also the interaction term turned out insignificant, the descriptive data suggest that limited visibility at large distances should be considered in the context of speed effects. Questionnaires revealed that estimation accuracy was related neither to the feeling of presence, nor to the participants’ assessment of their own performance.

Sonja Schneider, Mariam Salloum, Katharina Gundel, Annika Boos

Part V: Human Factors in Robotics (Edited by Sascha Wischniewski and Patricia H. Rosen)

Three-Stage Evaluation for Defining the Potential of an Industrial Exoskeleton in a Specific Job

Determination of the effectivity, usability and acceptance of an exoskeleton for a specific job requires a three-stage approach in which we get a first impression of its usefulness and potential fit (field observation), in which we measure the work load reducing effect (controlled experiment), and in which we measure use and acceptance, performance, work load and fatigue during the working day in practice (field study). This approach is described and illustrated for the case of an arm-support exoskeleton in plastering. The field observation of plasterers and the subsequent controlled experiment showed promising results in terms of shoulder load reduction and reductions of perceived exertion. The outline of the study design for the (currently just started) field study on plasterers is presented.

Michiel de Looze, Aijse de Vries, Frank Krause, Saskia Baltrusch
Human-Robot Collaboration During Assembly Tasks: The Cognitive Effects of Collaborative Assembly Workstation Features

This experimental study is set out to explore the effects of collaborative robotic system features on Workers’ perceived cognitive workload, usability and visual attention. This work’s primary objective is to identify strategies for lowering workers’ cognitive workload and increase usability when collaborating with robots in assembly tasks, ultimately fostering safety and performance. Perceived cognitive workload significantly decreased, and usability increased with the manipulation of workstation elements as well as the conditions of human interaction. Individual differences across participants suggest that robots should be capable of adjusting their behaviour according to the specific user.

Federico Fraboni, Luca Gualtieri, Francesco Millo, Matteo De Marchi, Luca Pietrantoni, Erwin Rauch
Evaluation of Physiological Costs Using Standardized Analysis Methods During Simulated Overhead Work with and Without Exoskeleton

In spite of Industry 4.0 and the resulting increased automation of work processes, assembly activities in constrained postures, e.g. overhead work that cannot be performed by robots are still necessary. Here, the passive upper body exoskeleton Airframe® made by Levitate is intended to provide support for overhead work. Thus, it reduces the risk of musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulders, neck and upper back. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the physiological advantages and disadvantages of an exoskeleton during simulated overhead work under laboratory conditions. Twenty subjects, aged between 18 and 64 years, participated in the laboratory study. To determine the physiological costs under variable test conditions, the muscular activity of the muscles trapezius pars descendens, deltoideus pars clavicularis, deltoideus pars acromialis and latissimus dorsi (bilateral in each case) were continuously recorded by surface electromyography. In standardized test sequences, the test persons were asked to perform three partial tests with and without the exoskeleton. This procedure included plugging and screwing activities (by hand and using an electric screwdriver). After each run-through, the current physical condition was assessed using a simple body chart. In addition, a short survey on subjective perception was conducted after each partial test. The results show that the use of the exoskeleton Airframe® particularly favors a reduced muscular activity of the shoulder and neck muscles. The test person’s subjective stress sensation also showed that the use of the exoskeleton had a positive effect on most activities, especially in the shoulder and neck area.

Sandra Groos, Nils Darwin Abele, Petra Fischer, Michael Hefferle, Karsten Kluth
Development of a Multifunctional Test Station and a Reproducible Test Design for the Evaluation of Stress and Strain During Overhead Work with and Without Upper Body Exoskeletons

There is a variety of upper body exoskeletons, which are featured by different characteristics. Their benefits, but also their limitations and possible dangers should be fundamentally scientifically investigated. For this, test conditions that are as close to reality as possible, but also reproducible and standardized are essential. A test station for objectification of stress and strain during overhead work was designed and built. The requirement was that the test station could be variably adapted to the height of the human body. Moreover, it allows the simulation of different activity scenarios. In addition to the test station, an experimental design was also developed consisting of two screwing tasks and one plugging task. Each partial test had a total duration of 5 to 10 min, whereby the working speed was partly determined by a certain beat. The developed test design was subsequently validated with an exoskeleton (Airframe® by Levitate) and some test persons. For this purpose, the necessary measurement technology for recording heart rate, muscular strain and energy expenditure was applied and tested. Furthermore, a standardized questionnaire was developed and tested.

Sandra Groos, Nils Darwin Abele, Kevin Kruse, Petra Fischer, Michael Hefferle, Karsten Kluth
Evaluation of Variables of Cognitive Ergonomics in Industrial Human-Robot Collaborative Assembly Systems

In the context of Industry 4.0, a human-robot collaborative assembly system is an example of a cyber-physical production system, where operators and robots interact during assembly. Considering the growing market and the increasing use of industrial collaborative robotics, companies need support in the proper and profitable introduction of this technology in their production environment. From a design standpoint, it is necessary to develop safe and ergonomic interactions between the operator and the system, primarily focusing on operators’ needs and characteristics of the robot. When designing collaborative systems and workstations, human-factors and cognitive requirements are often underestimated or ignored, even if they are crucial for the operator’s wellbeing and production performances. Considering this gap, the present work aims to evaluate cognitive ergonomics variables in human-robot collaborative assembly systems. Three different scenarios of human-robot collaboration have been developed based on the analysis of the scientific literature. The effectiveness of the scenarios has been validated through multiple experiments based on a laboratory case-study where operators physically interacted with a low-payload collaborative robot for the joint assembly of a workpiece. Multiple cognitive variables have been identified and evaluated by gradually changing the workstation elements as well as the conditions of human interaction with the robot. Preliminary results showed the impact of each scenario in reducing the operator’s stress and cognitive workload while improving the operator’s trust, acceptance, and situation awareness.

Luca Gualtieri, Federico Fraboni, Matteo De Marchi, Erwin Rauch
Optimizing Force Transfer in a Soft Exoskeleton Using Biomechanical Modeling

A newly developed prototype of a soft cable-driven elbow exoskeleton for lifting and lowering of loads was developed. To identify potential harmful forces within the elbow joint, an analysis was conducted with biomechanical simulation. To analyze the effect of the exoskeleton on the human body, biomechanical simulations were conducted on the prototype to assess the joint reaction forces during a lifting task with and without the soft elbow exoskeleton. To reduce these forces, the optimal way to attach the cables for generating the moment around the elbow needs to be identified using biomechanical simulation. First results show that in average the load on the elbow joint is reduced while wearing the exoskeleton compared to lifting 5 kg without any assistance. A large distance between the lower arm and the attachment point in ventral direction is very beneficial, due to the introduction of another lever arm into the system. Especially if the elbow is fully stretched, whereas the pulling force vector would go parallel to the arm. With the implementation of the lever arm, the load on the elbow is lower for any position of the arm.

Christina M. Harbauer, Martin Fleischer, Cerys E. M. Bandmann, Klaus Bengler
How User Presence Impacts Perceptions and Operation Routines of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners – a ‘Stay at Home’ Experiment

For domestic service robots (DSRs) to be successful, their design must accommodate user needs and preferences when working from home. This study explores whether DSR usage patterns change when people spend more time at home and whether active observation of robotic behaviors (which is more likely to occur when working from home) impacts the perception of robotic characteristics. Thirty-one owners of robotic vacuum cleaners were provided with an interactive online questionnaire which guided them through a remote unmoderated experiment in their own home. Participants were asked to report their cleaning routines, before and during lockdown, and their perceptions of their robot, before and after they actively observed it clean and handle different obstacles. Advantages and disadvantages of this approach are discussed. Our results, while still preliminary, shed light on people’s robot operation routines as they work from home. Even though most of our participants owned their robot for over a year, we found that active observation of the robot’s work may impact the way in which robots are perceived. Our findings may have general implications to the design of controlled human-robot interaction experiments, which typically require active observation, unlike most interactions in naturalistic settings.

Shanee Honig, Tal Oron-Gilad
Evaluation of Different Degrees of Support in Human-Robot Cooperation at an Assembly Workstation Regarding Physiological Strain and Perceived Team Fluency

This paper presents the results of an evaluation of two workflows for a human-robot collaboration at an assembly workstation at the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. Using a skill-based task allocation, the first scenario (V1) is designed to achieve a time-efficient process design, while the other scenario (V2) emphasises more interaction between the collaborative robot and human as well as aiming to reduce the physical workload of the subject.Two repetitions of each scenario are evaluated in a laboratory experiment with 11 participants. The total process assembly time, the active time portions of human and robot in the process, the physiological muscles strain of back, shoulders and upper extremities, and a subjective assessment of team fluency were measured.The mean total cycle time was increased from 412.5 s (s = 95.3 s) for V1 to 455.1 s (s = 77.1 s) for V2, and the participants had more short breaks during the working process. While there were no significant differences between the two scenarios in terms of local physiological strain in the selected muscles and the subjective assessment, the concept of including physiological strain in the task allocation in a human robot dyad was overall successful for both scenarios. All in all, low local physiological strain was measured and the robot was assessed positively regarding teamwork, trust, robot attributes and team-success.

Verena Klaer, Hendrik Groll, Jurij Wakula, Tim Steinebach
Field Study to Objectify the Stress and Strain on Male Workers During Car Wheel Changes in the Course of Using an Active Exoskeleton

The aim of a field study was to prove whether the expected relief of the musculoskeletal system occurs when an active exoskeleton is used. For this purpose, the seasonal changing of car wheels was chosen as a work task. The active exoskeleton Cray X was used. The physical stress and strain of 10 professional workers during the wheel change was determined by measuring the heart rate, analyzing the work pulse and the energy expenditure. In addition, a survey was conducted with 20 employees to determine the physical stress in different body regions. When comparing the work performed with and without the exoskeleton, no significant difference was measured for the heart rate. The difference in the work pulses was only 2 beats per minute. The wheel change with active exoskeleton required an energy expenditure of 1073 kJ/h. When carried out without exoskeleton, only slightly reduced values for the energy expenditure (1066 kJ/h) were registered. However, the objectively undetectable relief is subjectively felt. The strongest differences of the different application scenarios are found for the lower and upper back (25% and 21% respectively) and for the lower and upper trunk (11% and 7% respectively) in favor of exoskeletal application. Nevertheless, it must be concluded, active exoskeletons cannot fundamentally protect the employee from medium and long-term musculoskeletal disorders by physically supporting the execution of movements.

Karsten Kluth, Michael Hefferle
Using Multimodal Data to Predict Surgeon Situation Awareness

The use of robotic surgical systems creates new team dynamics in operating rooms and constitutes a major challenge for the development of crucial non-technical skills such as situation awareness (SA). Techniques for assessing SA mostly rely on subjective assessments, observation or interviews; few utilize multimodal measures that combine physiological, behavioural, and subjective indicators. We proposed a conceptual model relating situation awareness with mental workload (MW), stress and communication. To validate this model, we collected subjective feedback, measurable behaviours and physiological signals from surgeons performing a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy procedure. Preliminary results suggest that subjective MW is a better indicator of SA than subjective stress. Physiological measures did not correlate with subjective measures of stress and MW. Results also suggest that some indicators of communication quality associated with various levels of SA tend to be linked with surgical complexity.

Aurelien Lechappe, Mathieu Chollet, Jerome Rigaud, Caroline G. L. Cao
Preliminary Requirements of a Soft Upper-Limb Exoskeleton for Industrial Overhead Tasks Based on Biomechanical Analysis

In this work we derive the requirements of a soft upper-limb exoskeletons starting from the biomechanical analysis of human workers while performing three different industrial overhead tasks in laboratory settings. The results of the work allow to define the degrees of freedom which need to be supported to reduce the biomechanical overloads, as well the dimensional characteristics, in terms of required lengths and forces, of the soft actuators of the wearable robot.

Dario Panariello, Stanislao Grazioso, Teodorico Caporaso, Giuseppe Di Gironimo, Antonio Lanzotti
A Pilot Study on Auditory Feedback for a Lower-Limb Exoskeleton to Increase Walking Safety

The ontological feedback is important to ensure the safety when walking. The current lower-limb exoskeleton (LLE) systems are developed widely to assist paraplegia patients without proprioception to stand and walk. Hence, the paraplegia patients can hardly perceive motions and states of their lower limbs. The feedback information from an LLE to the paraplegia wearer can remind the wearer current walking state. They do not need to stare at their feet using visual feedback when walking, which is important to walking safety and remain mental model of exoskeleton. What’s more, visual feedback may result high workload and low safety during paraplegia patients’ walking because they have to change their visual pattern to notice their feet and walking situations. Therefore, this paper conducted several auditory feedback experiments aiming to find out the most adaptive feedback method for the exoskeleton to improve walking safety. Ten healthy subjects were recruited from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Firstly, voice- and music-prompt auditory feedback modes were compared and different prompt lengths/rhythms were set. Then, the advantageous mode was compared with no-feedback mode. In this procedure, different appearance time of the prompts was set in order to ensure the best effectiveness of auditory feedback. The accuracy, reaction time, and subjective assessments of these two auditory feedback modes were compared.

Jing Qiu, Yilin Wang, Hong Cheng, Lu Wang, Xiao Yang
Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) Technologies for Reducing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Diseases in Industry 4.0

The paper describes the activities of the European project SOPHIA, Socio-Physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production. The consortium involves European partners from academia, research organizations and industry. The main goal of the project is to develop a new generation of CoBots and Wearbots and advanced instrumental-based biomechanical risk assessment tools in industrial scenarios to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders and to improve productivity in industry 4.0.Further aim of the project is to create the basis for new ergonomic international Standards for manual handling activities.

Alberto Ranavolo, Giorgia Chini, Francesco Draicchio, Alessio Silvetti, Tiwana Varrecchia, Lorenzo Fiori, Antonella Tatarelli, Patricia Helen Rosen, Sascha Wischniewski, Philipp Albrecht, Lydia Vogt, Matteo Bianchi, Giuseppe Averta, Andrea Cherubini, Lars Fritzsche, Massimo Sartori, Bram Vanderborght, Renee Govaerts, Arash Ajoudani
Results from the Third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks on Human-Robot Interaction

Representative data of the third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-3) shows that about 3.5% of the more than 45000 interviewed enterprises have implemented direct human-robot interaction (HRI). The distribution varies noticeably between countries and once the enterprises are separated according to their industry branches. This diverse landscape of direct HRI in Europe goes along with specific risks and challenges that are considered being linked to occupational safety and health: need for training, fear of jobs loss, flexibility requirements for employees regarding working time and work place as well as repetitive movements.

Sascha Wischniewski, Eva Heinold, Patricia Helen Rosen

Part VI: Human Modelling and Simulation (Edited by Gunther Paul, Gregor Harih and Sofia Scataglini)

A Digital Human Modelling-Based Optimization Framework to Minimize Low Back Cumulative Loading During Design of Lifting Tasks

Disproportionate exposure to low back cumulative loading (LBCL) has been implicated as a risk component for development of pain or injury during performance of lifting tasks. However, addressing LBCL during conceptual work design is challenging because of a lack of an established and widely accepted LBCL threshold value. We therefore propose to address the design challenge using an optimization framework aided by digital human modeling (DHM). We showcase our approach by simulation of a lifting-carrying-lowering task with 4 different relative weight handling frequencies. We further explore the effects of 4 LBCL integration calculation methods on design outputs. Our results show that the percentage agreement for the 4 different relative handling frequencies and integration methods ranged between 89.5% and 100%. Kendall’s coefficient of concordance values ranged between 0.74 and 1.0 (all with p < 0.0001), showing good to perfect agreement amongst the solutions. Our proposed approach takes advantage of DHM task simulation capabilities to simulate proposed lifting scenarios and provide solution estimates at the conceptual design phase, a mainstay in optimal engineering practices.

Sivan Almosnino
Assessing the Efficiency of Industrial Exoskeletons with Biomechanical Modelling – Comparison of Experimental and Simulation Results

Exoskeletons are currently introduced for several industrial applications, but in many cases the efficiency of such devices in supporting heavy physical work has not been fully proved yet. Biomechanical simulation could considerably contribute to determining the efficiency of exoskeletons in various use cases with different user populations. In this paper we present an approach to extent laboratory and field studies by using the software AnyBody Modelling System. The biomechanical simulation is applied to the “Paexo Shoulder”, a commercial exoskeleton provided by Ottobock. Results show that the exoskeleton substantially reduces muscle activation and joint reaction forces in the shoulder and does not increase activation or forces in the lumbar spine. Comparison with laboratory measurements show very similar results. This indicates that the simulation framework could be used to evaluate changes in internal body loads as a result of wearing exoskeletons and thereby, supplements laboratory experiments and field tests during exoskeleton design and development.

Lars Fritzsche, Christian Gärtner, Michael Spitzhirn, Pavel E. Galibarov, Michael Damsgaard, Pauline Maurice, Jan Babič
Current Trends in Research and Application of Digital Human Modeling

The paper reports an investigation conducted during the DHM2020 Symposium regarding current trends in research and application of DHM in academia, software development, and industry. The results show that virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and digital twin are major current trends. Furthermore, results show that human diversity is considered in DHM using established methods. Results also show a shift from the assessment of static postures to assessment of sequences of actions, combined with a focus mainly on human well-being and only partly on system performance. Motion capture and motion algorithms are alternative technologies introduced to facilitate and improve DHM simulations. Results from the DHM simulations are mainly presented through pictures or animations.

Lars Hanson, Dan Högberg, Erik Brolin, Erik Billing, Aitor Iriondo Pascual, Maurice Lamb
Validation of an Inverse Kinematic VR Manikin in Seated Tasks: Application in Ergonomics Training

Lower back and neck pain are common musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among dentists and dentistry students. Increased awareness of ergonomics during job tasks could help to reduce MSDs. Virtual reality (VR) enhanced dentistry training programs are gaining popularity in academia. Quantifying inverse kinematics (IK) using VR manikins that mimic a user’s body can inform ergonomic risk evaluations. We calibrated and investigated one of the IK manikins' accuracy compared to motion capture (MoCap) using a novel method. We show that posture estimation using VR is accurate to less than 10° in 81% of the seated pick and place tasks for the neck and trunk angles. These results suggest that an accurate estimation of posture in VR is achievable to inform real-time postural feedback. This postural feedback can be integrated into VR enhanced training for dental students to help reinforce ergonomic posture and safer movements.

Mohammad Homayounpour, Dorien Butter, Saaransh Vasta, Andrew Merryweather
Multi-objective Optimization of Ergonomics and Productivity by Using an Optimization Framework

Simulation technologies are widely used in industry as they enable efficient creation, testing, and optimization of the design of products and production systems in virtual worlds, rather than creating, testing, and optimizing prototypes in the physical world. In an industrial production context, simulation of productivity and ergonomics helps companies to find and realize optimized solutions that uphold profitability, output, quality, and worker well-being in their production facilities. However, these two types of simulations are typically carried out using separate software, used by different users, with different objectives. This easily causes silo effects, leading to slow development processes and sub-optimal solutions. This paper reports on research related to the realization of an optimization framework that enables the concurrent optimization of aspects relating to both ergonomics and productivity. The framework is meant to facilitate the inclusion of Ergonomics 4.0 in the Industry 4.0 revolution.

Aitor Iriondo Pascual, Dan Högberg, Anna Syberfeldt, Erik Brolin, Estela Perez Luque, Lars Hanson, Dan Lämkull
Demographic Effects on Mid-Air Gesture Preference for Control of Devices: Implications for Design

After eliciting 129 potential task-gesture combinations for 23 Smart TV tasks with a Canadian sample (N = 22), we then conducted studies that collected participant preference scores on mid-air bare-hand gestures for TV control in both Canada (N = 747) and China (N = 300), and we analyzed the effect of characteristics of individual participants on gesture preference scores. The results showed that age and cultural differences are important in determining task-gesture preferences. While exploratory, the present results indicate a need for more research in this area and suggest that one of two possible strategies may need to be adopted in designing future gesture interactions: 1) develop customized task-gesture combinations for different cultures and different age groups; 2) develop a core set of task-gesture combination possibilities and let users choose which gesture they want to use for each task.

Haoyan Jiang, Mark Chignell, Sachi Mizobuchi, Farzin Farhadi Niaki, Zhe Liu, Wei Zhou, Wei Li
A Human-Centered Design Procedure for Conceptualization Using Virtual Reality Prototyping Applied in an Inflight Lavatory

For designing large-scale products like an airplane, engaging end-users in the concept phase is difficult. However, early user evaluation is important to choose the path which fits the user’s needs best. In particular, comfort-related assessments are difficult to conduct with digital models that are shown on a desktop PC application. Digital Human Modelling (DHM) plays a role in postural comfort analysis, while the subjective comfort feedback still largely relied on consulting with end-users.This paper applies a human-centered design process and analyses the advantages and disadvantages of using VR prototypes for involving users during concept design. This study focused on using VR prototypes for concept selection and verification based on comfort assessment with potential end-users.The design process started with an online questionnaire for identifying the quality of the design elements (Step 1 online study). Then, alternative concepts were implemented in VR, and users evaluated these concepts via a VR headset (Step 2 Selection study). Finally, the research team redesigned the final concept and assessed it with potential users via a VR headset (Step 3 Experience study).Every design element contributed positively to the long-haul flight comfort, especially tap-basin height, storage, and facilities. The male and female participants had different preferences on posture, lighting, storage, and facilities. The final prototype showed a significantly higher comfort rate than the original prototypes.The first-person immersion in VR headsets helps to identify the nuances between concepts, thus supports better decision-making via collecting richer and more reliable user feedback to make faster and more satisfying improvements.

Meng Li, Doris Aschenbrenner, Daniëlle van Tol, Daan van Eijk, Peter Vink
Automated Segmentation of 3D Digital Human Model for Area and Volume Measurement

Automated location of body landmarks and anthropometric measurements from 3D digital human models promote standardization of measurements, resulting in higher precision and consistence compared to traditional measurements. LABER has already developed a software tool to support automated body landmarks location and linear anthropometric measurements based on 3D digital human models. However, we have interest on area and body volume calculation, as these measurements are difficult to obtain by conventional methods. Considering this, we developed specialized algorithms for measurements of surface area, cross section area and volume based on automated segmentation of the digital human model into 13 body parts (trunk, upper arms, forearms, hands, thighs, calves, and feet).

Flavia Cristine Hofstetter Pastura, Tales Fernandes Costa, Gabriel de Aguiar Mendonça, Thatiane dos Santos Lopes, Maria Cristina Palmer Lima Zamberlan
A Conceptual Framework of DHM Enablers for Ergonomics 4.0

Industry 4.0 lends itself to an ecosystem of human factors and ergonomics (HFE) related new concepts, such as Mining 4.0, Safety 4.0, Operator 4.0 and Ergonomics 4.0 which we studied here. Industry 4.0 refers to system elements such as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), connections through the Internet of Things (IoT) and storage on Cloud Platforms (CP) to facilitate Cognitive Computing (CC) analysis and knowledge extraction. While the Industry 4.0 concept is centred around data, it also provides a platform to integrate the human operator with other elements of a system. Industry 4.0 and Ergonomics thus appear integrated and suggest the development of an Ergonomics 4.0 concept. This study searched and reviewed publications focusing on the enablers of Ergonomics 4.0. We identified their main elements and relationships with a focus on Digital Human Modelling (DHM). We systemized, clustered and synthesized the reviewed information and generated a taxonomy of Ergonomics 4.0 under the lens of digital human modelling using semantic analysis. We conclude that Ergonomics 4.0 is an essential part of Industry 4.0 and that DHM is a key enabler for Ergonomics 4.0.

Gunther Paul, Leyde Briceno
Characterizing Adaptive Display Interventions for Attentional Tunneling

The cognitive phenomenon wherein operators lock in on one source of information to the detriment of perceiving or processing others has been referenced using a variety of different names, including attentional tunneling. Unregulated and often used interchangeably, this list of terms makes cataloging research in this area unwieldy, and compiling existing literature on design interventions difficult. A search of relevant databases resulted in a review of literature on attentional tunneling and its variants. Terms and the contexts in which they are used are compared against a standard definition to organize the use of vocabulary. Next, a series of adaptive display interventions for attentional tunneling in the literature are summarized. A characterization is proposed to help organize and inform attentional tunneling literature for research planning and design.

Kayla Pedret, Greg A. Jamieson
Digital Production Planning of Manual and Semi-automatic Tasks in Industry Using the EMA Software Suite

The 3D planning software EMA offers a combined approach which takes into account the factory planning level and the detailed planning at the single work station level. Ema Work Designer supports digital production planning, prospective ergonomics and productivity assessment by providing a more efficient and accurate approach to 3D human simulation of manual and semi-automatic tasks at the micro level. Additionally, the new module EMA Plant Designer allows to include entire factories and production lines for evaluation of lead time, production costs, material flow, buffer position, space and layout at the macro level. An application example shows that ergonomic and productivity design don’t contradict each other, if they are considered early in the design phase in one common software system. Many practical experiences suggest that this approach facilitates cooperation between different business units that are traditionally separated, such as factory/facility planning, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering, production, and health & safety.

Michael Spitzhirn, Lars Fritzsche, Sebastian Bauer
Probabilistic Human-System-Integration (HSI) Models: Review and Extension

Three probabilistic analytical (“mathematical”) human-system-integration (HSI) models and their application in ergonomics engineering are addressed. The general concepts are illustrated by numerical examples. It is concluded that such models should always be considered, in addition to computer simulations, in every critical HSI effort.

Ephraim Suhir, Gunther Paul
Assessment of Biomechanical Risk Factors During Lifting Tasks in a Spacesuit Using Singular Value Decomposition

Spacesuits demonstrate unique motion patterns due to their mechanical design. These motion patterns may contribute to increased musculoskeletal stresses and injury risks for the astronaut and therefore it is important to understand how suited motion patterns correlate with injury risk. This study analyzed motions from manual material handling lifting tasks performed in the Mark-III spacesuit. The motion capture data were projected onto a reposable suit model for kinematic derivation of joint angles. Singular value decomposition (SVD) was performed on the time series of the joint angles, which identified the primitive motion patterns (“eigenpostures”) across each task and their weightings as a function of time. The total joint displacement, low back moments, and postural stability were calculated as biomechanical risk metrics for each eigenposture. The eigenposture weightings were compared across tasks. Each eigenposture was associated with a different level of biomechanical stresses and some tasks, such as object pickup from the floor, had a higher composition of “risky” eigenpostures. The results of this work can be used to improve task and suit design to minimize risky movement patterns for injury mitigation.

Linh Q. Vu, Han K. Kim, Sudhakar L. Rajulu
A Preliminary Study on the Effects of Foam and Seat Pan Inclination on the Deformation of the Seated Buttocks Using MRI

The objective is to investigate the effects of foam and seat pan inclination on soft tissues deformation in the gluteal region using an open MRI. Four healthy male subjects, aged from 28 to 52 years old and BMI from 20 to 28 kg/m2 participated in the experiment. A positional MRI scanner (Paramed® 0.5 T) was used. Each participant tested three seating configurations defined by varying the seat pan angle (A_SP) and cushion material while the back was fixed at 22° from the vertical: 1) A_SP = 7° without foam (Reference), 2) A_SP = 0° without foam (Shear), 3) A_SP = 7° with a 50 mm thick foam on the seat pan (Foam). In addition, one configuration (Unloaded) with the trunk-thigh angle about 105° and the buttock unloaded, was also scanned for comparison. After segmentation and 3D reconstruction, volumes of bone, gluteal muscle, fat, and other tissues in three regions of interest (ROIs) under the ITs were calculated. The largest tissue deformation was observed for Shear, while the smallest was found for Foam. Though these findings were expected, to our knowledge, this is the first time that the effect of shear force on tissue deformation was quantified directly, providing quantitative data needed for validating buttock-thigh finite element models. The findings of the present study also confirm that the tissue beneath their ITs was predominantly composed of fat and connective tissue and the gluteal muscles slided away from the IT.

Xuguang Wang, Léo Savonnet, Sonia Duprey
Tool Development for Ergonomic Design of Automated Vehicles

The ergonomic design of future automated vehicles will require new posture prediction features in digital human models to consider the large variety of non-driving related activities. This paper describes the experimental, modeling and implementation work to achieve new posture models for that kind of activities. In the experiment subject poses are measured while adopting a set of predefined sitting postures in a mock-up. These postures result from a pre-study which determined the most frequently observed postures for non-driving related activities. These poses are transferred to a digital human model and build the pool from which primary posture models are derived. Several methods are developed to create new secondary posture models out of them by joining upper and lower sub postures of significantly frequent posture combinations according to that pre-study. These methods and non-driving related posture models are implemented into a digital human model extending the standard posture prediction process. For simulating a desired activity in an automated vehicle design, a user can select the corresponding posture model taking into account the specific frequency rates.

Hans-Joachim Wirsching, Martin Fleischer
Simplifying Ergonomic Assessment for Designers: A User-Product Interaction-Modelling Framework in CAD

Digital human models have not yet reached their full potential for proactive virtual assessment of ergonomics in engineering and industrial design. Especially the modelling of interaction between user and product often is time demanding, cumbersome, unstandardized and embedded insufficiently in the computer-aided engineering environment. On the one hand, the interaction modelling needs to be applicable for a majority of products and shall contain as much a-priori knowledge regarding human behavior as possible. On the other hand, the method needs to be appropriate for designers, without special ergonomic expertise or human behavior training. In this contribution, we present an interaction-modelling framework based on the concept of affordances, which ought to resolve these partly contradictable demands. Hence, 31 elementary affordances, describing fundamental physical interaction possibilities between human end effectors and rudimental (product) geometries, were deduced using a classification method. The elementary affordances shall serve as a medium for interaction modeling. For this purpose, we introduce an interaction modelling routine, implemented in a CAD system, which makes use of the identified elementary affordances in terms of CAD-features. Those enable designers to apply interaction possibilities directly to a CAD-model in order to define the constraints for a DHM simulation.

Alexander Wolf, Yvonne Wagner, Marius Oßwald, Jörg Miehling, Sandro Wartzack
Usability Study on a New Assembly of 3D Interactive Gestures for Human–Computer Interaction

In 3D gesture interaction, people engage in contactless interaction with computers through arm and palm movements. The aim of this study was to develop and verify a reasonable evaluation scheme for 3D gesture usability through empirical methods and finally form an efficient, natural, and standard gesture library for 3D interaction. Two experiments were performed. In the first experiment, an evaluation scheme for 3D gestures with different weighted indexes of usability was developed, and then the ratings of the usability dimensions of 30 gestures within 10 operations in the 3D interaction were compared with one another. The purpose of this comparison was to summarize a set of 3D gestures with the highest usability. In the second experiment, the validity of the gesture set acquired in the first experiment was verified by comparing the usability differences between the high- and low-rated 3D gestures. An optimal set of 3D gestures was obtained by comparing the usability ratings of the different gestures and then verifying the superiority of the operation performance and users’ satisfaction of this 3D gesture set in a real operation task.

Bohan Wu, Gang Zhang, Xuegang Zhang, Shibo Mei, Jinduo Wu, Hongting Li, Zhen Yang
Combining a Wearable IMU Mocap System with REBA and RULA for Ergonomic Assessment of Container Lashing Teams

Container lashing teams experience a number of repetitive and physically demanding tasks. These labor intensive tasks force container lashers into awkward postures which can lead to an increase of the biomechanical risk factors resulting in work related musculoskeletal disorders. An observation concluded that there is a knowledge gap between training and workplace practice. A comparison between the body posture of a dockworker instructor and a container lasher in the workplace should be examined. Conducting the ergonomic assessments requires a broader knowledge on how to implement the acquired observation tools in a port environment. A preliminary analysis of the container lashers lashing and de-lashing technique was created by applying recordings from a wearable inertial measurement units (IMU) mocap system, Xsens (MVN Awinda, Enschede, The Netherlands) to the rapid entire body assessment (REBA) and rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) tools. Representative ergonomic assessment scores for container lashers should include a broader interpretation of the load score and coupling score in RULA and REBA, as well as a detailed comparison of the anthropometric characteristics and the work experience of the container lashers.

Sander Zelck, Stijn Verwulgen, Lenie Denteneer, Hanne Vanden Bossche, Sofia Scataglini
Development of Guidelines for the Ergonomic Evaluation of Human Work in Digital Factory Tools

For many years, the Association of German Engineers (VDI) has been issuing guidelines for simulating production and logistics systems as well as for Digital Factory tools. The target group encompasses experts from science, consulting institutions, industrial companies, interest groups and software houses. The guidelines represent the state of the art, but in individual cases can also be regarded as a preliminary stage of a standard. This opens up the possibility of publication without the topic already being viewed as capable of being standardized. An individual guideline can contain several guideline parts. In simulation software and Digital Factory tools, the working human is playing an increasing role. From this background, special guideline parts have already been published, which deal with the modeling of humans in production-logistic simulation and with ergonomic aspects in the Digital Factory. The last-mentioned guideline part deals with the work task and especially with related anthropometric and work-physiological aspects. A further guideline part is currently in the process of being published and regards the stresses and strains from the work environment. This guideline part with its close relation to Occupational Health and Safety is discussed in the following. It reveals that a large field of research and development issues still needs to be clarified in order to integrate these aspects into Digital Factory tools.

Gert Zülch

Part VII: Neuroergonomics (Edited by Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu)

Cognitive Aspects in Control Rooms
Anticipated Response to Adverse Situations

The level of performance of a control console operator is associated with the speed of data processing, so that the contextual reconstruction of data, whether collaborative or individual, depends on aspects such as knowledge of the actual and effective technical operation, knowledge of the functional and operational history of the process units to be controlled; this is closely related to the physical, biomechanical and physiological availability. This study approaches the physiological aspects in two elements considering their relationship with neurological aspects that may affect the monitoring and control tasks. It also examines the relationship between professional experience and cognitive abilities bringing closer to the understanding of specific aspects of anticipation and their relationship with the elaboration of a knowledge base.

Juan Alberto Castillo-M, Maria Constanza Trillos Ch.
Independent Driving Improved the Self-esteem and Health Related Quality of Life of a Polio Survivor

Outdoor mobility and access to transport modes are important for independence and an active life. Polio survivors often have impaired muscle function that can result in mobility problems including driving. This study sought to detail the modification of a vehicle for a polio survivor to achieve independent driving and investigate the impact of independent driving on the self-esteem and the health-related quality of life of the polio survivor with bilateral weakness of the lower limbs (paraparesis). This multi-level research utilized a mixed method combining quantitative and qualitative data collection. It is a case report of a polio survivor with inability to drive conventional vehicles. The Rosenberg self-esteem questionnaire and the SF-12 were administered and a direct interview was conducted to elicit qualitative responses on the self-perceived challenges of lack of independent mobility and consequence of modification of vehicle. The design and fabrication of a hand-powered pedal controls for modification of conventional vehicle was reported. Improvements were observed in the self-esteem and the HRQoL when current scores were compared to scores before driving. The narration has also changed with increased independence in several aspects of living especially mobility, with respect to driving achieved by modification of conventional vehicle. Independence in mobility-related activities such as driving can lead to improved self-esteem and HRQoL. Rehabilitation focus should be on simple and affordable modification of vehicles for persons with disability such as polio survivors to increase independence.

Olumide Olasunkanmi Dada, Femi Abolaji Ogundapo, Olusegun Adeyemi Adejare, Chidozie Emmanuel Mbada, Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu
Disability and Community Reintegration Among Community Dwelling Persons Living with Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury and Limb Amputation – A Comparative Study

People living with disabilities (PLwD) experience limitations in their functional performance and reintegration into the community. Stroke survivors (SS), persons with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and amputees are the commonly encountered community dwelling persons with disabilities in Nigeria. There appear to be no study that has compared the functional potentials (FP) and community reintegration (CR) among community dwelling SS, SCI and limb amputees (LA). This study described and compared the level of functional potential and community reintegration among SS, SCI and amputees. Sixty (60) community dwelling PLwD (SS = 20, SCI = 20, LA = 20) participated in this study. Their functional potential (FP) and level of community reintegration (CR) were assessed using Barthel Index and Reintegration to Normal Living Index respectively. Data was analyzed descriptively, and with one way ANOVA. The level of significance was set at α = 0.05. The participants’ age ranged from 21 to 74 (51.25 ± 14.50) years, with mean scores of FP and CR of 58.83 ± 27.61 and 22.32 ± 3.98 respectively. There was a significant difference in FP (F = 107.80, p < 0.001) and CR (F = 8.03, p = 0.001) across the three groups. The pair-wise post-hoc comparison of FP revealed significant difference between SS > SCI (MD = 49.25, p < 0.001), LA > SCI (MD = 53.73, p < 0.0001) only. Similarly, the pair-wise post-hoc comparison of CR revealed significant SS > SCI (MD = 3.90, p = 0.003), significant LA > SCI (MD = 3.95, p = 0.003) only. PLWD (SS, SCI and LA) have a low FP and CR. Persons with SCI have the least FP and CR, while LA have the highest FP and CR among these cohorts.

Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu, Chinwendu Obi Nwokocha, Blessing Chiagozikam Atuenyi, Antoninus Obinna Ezeukwu, Olumide Olasunkanmi Dada
Virtual Reality, a Neuroergonomic and Neurorehabilitation Tool for Promoting Neuroplasticity in Stroke Survivors: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis

Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging neuroergonomics tool for stroke rehabilitation. It can be employed to promote post-stroke recovery during rehabilitation as a result of its neuroplasticity enhancing effects. This study systematically reviewed and meta-synthesised evidence on the effectiveness of virtual reality on selected markers of neuroplasticity among stroke survivors (SSv). The databases searched were PEDro, CINHAL, the Cochrane Library, and PUBMed using combinations of Medical subject heading (MeSH) terms and keywords in the titles, abstracts and text for the population, intervention and major outcome (PICO format). The studies included were randomized clinical trials that compared the effects VR among adult SSv. The PEDro scale was used for quality appraisal of the included studies. Forest plot (RevMan version 5.3) was used for the metasynthesis of the results, level of significance was set at α = 0.05. A total of 6 studies were included in the meta-analysis (involving 441 stroke survivors). The pooled effects on the improvement in motor function (SMD = −1.05; CI = −1.53, −0.56, Z = 4.22, p < 0.0001, I2 = 93%) and balance performance (SMD = −3.06; CI = −3.80, −2.32, Z = 8.11, p < 0.0001, I2 = 94%) was significantly in the favour of VR. There is evidence that virtual reality is an effective neuroergonomics modality for encouraging neuroplasticity through its effects on the motor function, balance and muscle strength of stroke survivors.

Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu, Ikenna Collins Nzeakuba, Olumide Olasunkanmi Dada, Kingsley Obumneme Nwankwo, Paul Olowoyo, Victor Adimabua Utti, Mayowa Ojo Owolabi
Are the Psychosocial and Physical Disabilities of Stroke Survivors Ageing Related?

Most stroke survivors, advanced in age are encumbered by physical and psychosocial disabilities such as motor impairments, balance dysfunctions, depression, activity limitation, participation restriction etc. These disabilities also characterize ageing as seen among older adults. It is therefore not know if the post-stroke disabilities are due to ageing or intrinsic neurological deficits. This study sought to know if the physical and psychosocial disabilities of stroke survivors are due to ageing or stroke specific impairments. This cross-sectional study with a matched design compared selected physical and psychosocial attributed between stroke survivors (SS) and their age- and sex-matched apparently healthy older adults (ASMAHOA). Physical attributes such as functional ability (FA), participation, balance and motor function (MF) and psychosocial variables such as depression, self-esteem, and self-efficacy were assessed using validated instruments. Data obtained were analysed using descriptive statics and paired t-test. Level of significant was set at α = 0.05. A total of 34 SS and 34 ASAMAHOA participated in this study, 19 (55.9%) males and 15 (44.1%) females in each group with a mean age of 69.02 ± 5.55 years and 68.89 ± 5.40 years respectfully. Stroke survivors had significantly (p < 0.05) lower scores compared to ASAMAHOA (SS vs ASAMAHOAl) on FA (24.65 ± 8.57 vs 44.56 ± 8.36), MF [upper-limb (68.62 ± 28.24 vs 97.09 ± 15.03), lower-limb (50.71 ± 25.14 vs 72.74 ± 8.40)], self-esteem (63.18 ± 15.42 vs 77.94 ± 7.20) and self-efficacy (47.82 ± 25.48 vs 88.65 ± 17.94), but a significantly higher depressive symptoms (13.53 ± 8.23 vs 10.32 ± 4.30). Stroke survivors experience significantly greater disabilities than their age- and sex-matched apparently healthy older adults. Therefore, post-stroke disabilities are not primarily due to ageing.

Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu, Nelson Okogba, Kingsley Obumneme Nwankwo, Nmachukwu Ifeoma Ekechukwu, Amaka Gloria Mgbeojedo, Olusegun Adeyemi Adejare, Uchenna Prosper Okonkwo, Victor Adimabua Utti
Analyzing the Effect of Visual Cue on Physiological Hand Tremor Using Wearable Accelerometer Sensors

Physiological tremors are slight oscillations that are produced when head and limbs are left unsupported in healthy individuals. This study aims to verify the presence of neurogenic component in physiological hand tremor by appropriately choosing a neurophysiological parameter (i.e. visual cue – eyes open and eyes closed). The physiological hand tremor was recorded from eight subjects while performing three tasks – rest, postural and action under eyes open and eyes closed conditions. Accelerometer and EMG sensors were fixed at fingers, wrist, forearm, biceps and deltoid muscles. Consequently, time and frequency domain features were extracted from accelerometer and EMG data. One-way ANOVA was performed to evaluate the statistical difference (p < 0.05) between the two conditions. Our study concluded that visual cue had a significant effect on physiological hand tremor only during action task. Besides, the amplitude of the hand tremor was reduced during eyes open condition due to increase in voluntary muscle force, which showcased the positive influence of neurogenic component on physiological hand tremor.

Vishal Kannan, K. Adalarasu, Priyadarshini Natarajan, Venkatesh Balasubramanian
Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Return to Driving Among a Sample of Nigerian Stroke Survivors - A Qualitative Study

Stroke affects driving ability and as such impedes mobility, independence, freedom and quality of life. Return to driving after stroke serves as an integral part for community reintegration and improved quality of life. Driving is considered critical for continued independence, employment and recreation among stroke survivors. There was therefore the need to better understand the perceived facilitators and barriers to driving among stroke survivors with pre-stroke driving history. This study seeks to better understand the perceived facilitators of and barriers to return to driving after stroke so as to enable proper outcome in patient management and policy formulation. This is a qualitative phenomenological approach using in-depth focus group discussion (FGD) was employed. Six stroke survivors (5 males; 1 female) aged 58.0 ± 7.9 years participated in the FGD. Half (50%) of the participants had returned to driving. Seven themes were generated for the barriers as well as facilitators of return to driving after stroke. Findings from this study suggests that majority of the facilitators of return to driving are intrinsic factors. Majority of stroke survivors wish that they could be able to stop being dependent on their caregivers for their activities of daily living (ADL) which could invariably lead to activity limitation and participation restriction. Attention should be paid on the pre-morbid driving status of stroke survivors so as to enhance the facilitators of return to driving and minimize the barriers to return to driving after stroke.

Kingsley Obumneme Nwankwo, Olubukola Adebisi Olaleye, Tal’hatu Kolapo Hamzat, Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu
VR Application for Vestibular System Training (Pilot Study)

Nowadays, the most widespread methods for vestibular system training include physical activity and exercising on a specific training equipment. Even though these methods have their advantages, they do not directly affect the visual system. Thus, including the visual stimuli in vestibular system training seems to be a promising solution. Using a virtual reality headset allows to expand the area of influence on a person by creating a feeling of “complete immersion”. Thus, based on the information studied from the medical side of the issue, as well as on the features of the VR headset, we propose developing an application for training the vestibular system. In the current study the authors present the initial design of the application and the experiment design to test the application efficacy in comparison to conventional vestibular system training.

Daria Plotnikova, Aleksandr Volosiuk, Gleb Tikhonov, Aleksandr Tsynchenko, Anastasiia Luneva, Artem Smolin
Determination of the Influence of Music on Working Memory Performance Using EEG Analysis

Working memory forms an important component of the command centre of brain. Incoming information from all sensory modalities lasting from few seconds to several hours requires working memory for immediate storage before those information gets stored as long-term memory. Loading working memory with many information at one time can result in corrupted storage in long term memory. This could lead to less efficient recollection of information. This study aimed to investigate the efficiency of performance while loading the working memory with both primary and secondary task at the same time. Participants performed Backward Wechsler Digit Span test for digits from 3 to 7 as primary task in with-music and no-music condition. Behavioural parameters namely typing duration and accuracy, and electroencephalography (EEG) parameters namely theta, beta and alpha bands was collected for three stages: encode, maintenance and recall. Results revealed decrease in accuracy as size of digit sequence increased in the presence of music. Spectral power of theta band increased during with-music condition in comparison to no-music condition indicating strain on working memory due to music. The study results revealed that listening to favourite music during task, loads the working memory and hinders the task performance.

Minerva Rajendran, Tanya Malaiya, Venkatesh Balasubramanian

Part VIII: Working with Computer Systems (Edited by Nicole Jochems)

Empirical Comparison of the Effects of Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Video Game Console Controllers on Players Performance

This study utilized an experiment to evaluate the effect of video game console controllers, namely Sony PlayStation 3 (symmetrical type) and Xbox 360 (asymmetrical type), on players’ performance. Twelve players were randomly chosen to perform tasks with both controllers. They were all males, their age ranged between 25 and 39 years with an average age of 30.75 years. All were right-handed. Each controller was tested when players were performing tasks consisting of playing selected levels of “Need for Speed” game. The first task is to complete a race on easy mode as a training task, and the second task is to complete a race on normal mode as the main experimental task. Player’s completion time of the second race and the number of errors were used as performance measures. Errors were divided into two types: number of crashes and number of wrong turns. Result of the experiment showed that there were significant differences between the two types of console controllers in completion time and number of errors. The asymmetrical controller (the Xbox 360) resulted in better performance than the symmetrical controller (PlayStation 3) did.

Asma Alfargani, Ahamed Altaboli
A Novel 3D Editor for Gesture Design Based on Labanotation

Applying the natural interaction paradigm to digital systems offers increased comfort to their users, but also poses new challenges to interaction designers, particularly for gesture-controlled systems. While the documentation of human movement has been a research topic for many years, its results have not yet been fully applied to the area of motion-controlled systems.Labanotation, a motion notation language originating in theatre and dance, has been widely discussed as a promising candidate to overcome this issue. It has been argued that its major drawback is the effort required to learn how to use it.In this paper, we contribute to the problem of a universally accepted standardized documentation method of human movement by presenting a novel 3D editor that reduces the hurdle to document gestures and transforms the cumbersome task of learning and using Labanotation into a simple and even enjoyable process. Notably, the editor allows learning the notation language via trial-and-error.

Kathleen Anderson, Börge Kordts, Andreas Schrader
Advancing Towards Automated Ergonomic Assessment: A Panel of Perspectives

Direct and continuous exposure measurement has posed challenges to human factors engineering (HFE) professionals when conducting risk assessments. However, emerging technologies have utility to automate elements of HFE assessment and strengthen opportunities for direct and continuous exposure measurement. Leading HFE researchers provide perspectives on how advances in technology and computing, including computer vision, machine learning and wearable sensors, can aid in the automation of exposure measurement to inform ergonomic assessment while also bolstering the opportunities for objective, data-driven insight. Drs. SangHyun Lee and Michael Sonne share perspectives on the development and validation of computer vision-based pose estimation approaches. Such pose estimation approaches allow HFE professions to record video data where software can convert video into a kinematic representation of a worker and then calculate corresponding joint angles without the need for any tedious posture matching, or additional post processing approaches. Dr. Cavuoto discusses how wearable technologies can unobtrusively measure kinematics in work, showcasing the potential of direct measurement, data-driven injury risk assessment. Finally, Dr. Gallagher showcases how data collected through automated approaches can be integrated with models to evaluate injury risk through a fatigue-failure injury mechanism pathway. In addition to showcasing how emerging technologies and approaches may enhance exposure and risk assessment in HFE, panelists also highlight anticipated challenges and barriers that need to be addressed to support more ubiquitous integration of such technologies into HFE assessment practice. The future for innovation and advancement in exposure measurement and assessment is bright.

Daniel P. Armstrong, Christopher A. B. Moore, Lora A. Cavuoto, Sean Gallagher, SangHyun Lee, Michael W. Sonne, Steven L. Fischer
From Globalization to Circular Economy, Which Issues for Health and Safety at Work?

Circular economy is presented as an alternative to promote sustainable and responsible development. This economic model involves deep organizational and production changes. INRS, the French institute for occupational safety and health, conducted a strategic foresight approach in order to assess its potential impact on working conditions and therefore, on health and safety at work. The aim was to anticipate future needs for the prevention of occupational risks by 2040. Indeed, if circular economy offers the opportunity for a better integration of prevention, this may cause also adverse effects on workers’ safety and health. The first step of the study was to set up a 15-member team, associating OSH, foresight and circular economy experts who followed the exercise from start to finish. In association with partners outside the group, they identified the main key influencing drivers in the development of circular economy. Each of these drivers was then documented, in order to consider contrasted hypotheses of development in the future. Then, they built together global scenarios combining several hypotheses considering the drivers most likely to have an effect on working conditions and consequently on safety and health. They then drew up four stories, taking into account specific sectors and aspects of professional activity in order to make more concrete the potential consequences of different modes of circular economy development. OSH experts could translate them in terms of health and safety issues in order to reflect on the most relevant subjects to be taken into account in the future by INRS.

Agnès Aublet-Cuvelier, Michel Hery, Marc Malenfer
Collaborative Robotics and Industry 4.0: An Engineering, Sociology and Activity-Centered Ergonomics Cross-Experience

This communication aims to present a cross-perspective – robotics, industrial engineering, sociology and ergonomics – research project experience dealing with development of collaborative robotics in SMEs. Our conviction is that Industry 4.0 must imply: (1) “departitioning” of disciplines involved in the design of work situations and (2) construction of hybrid approaches for understanding and transforming work. In this communication, we propose to relate such an experience on the basis of a research project - funded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR), and focused on transformation of French Small and Middle Companies (SMC’s) in relation to introduction of Collaborative Robotics. Collaborative Robotics is of particular interest for us as it embeds promises and pitfalls of articulation between technologies and work. However, these promises may be discussed and tempered by confronting them to actual design issues, work organization and transformation of work management.

Flore Barcellini, Willy Buchmann, Richard Béarée, Tahar-Hakim Benchekroun, Mouad Bounouar, Gérard Dubey, Caroline Moricot, Anne-Cecile Lafeuillade, Celine Rosselin-Bareille, Marco Saraceno, Ali Siadat
Trade-offs of Users and Non-users of Life-Logging – Desire for Support vs. Potential Barriers

Understanding why (non-) users are motivated to use life-logging devices requires to consider wishes and concerns associated with life-logging as well as the influence of personality on usage motivation. We analyze whether the intention to use life-logging is more strongly influenced by the desire for support or by potential barriers with the first having a positive impact and the latter a negative one. Further, we investigate how some personality traits influence the desire for support and potential barriers. Our study shows that the desire for support is more important for the motivation to use life-logging, than potential barriers. Regarding personality traits, motives for physical activity showed the highest influence on the desire for support of users and non-users of life-logging. For users, their need for privacy also influences their desire for support. Barriers are primarily influenced by privacy concerns. In future, when introducing life-logging devices, the potential to support users to pursue goals and privacy concerns of potential users should be particularly considered.

Laura Burbach, Chantal Lidynia, Philipp Brauner, Martina Ziefle
Enabling Collaborative Situations in 4.0 Industry: Multiple Case Study

The clinic of use [1] carries the idea that technology is the operator’s partner in his activity. However, it is not uncommon, within 4.0 industry, to observe technologies that don’t allow operators to develop their skills and capacities for action. It happens that some technologies are “technopush” implemented, which may explain the disappointing results of some projects with high technological goals. Our works objective is therefore to define criteria for an Human-Technology enabling collaborative situation (ECS), in order to guide conception projects at an early stage. The study of scientific literature leads us to define the ECS according to 3 criteria. These characteristics are considered essential from the point of view of the operator’s activity deployment: learn a new and more efficient way of doing things, increase the available possibilities and ways of doing things, and adjust the Human-Machine couple attributes according to the evolution of situations over time. We present here the results of a multiple case study of innovation projects. This case study is designed to confront the criteria of the ECS with the actors feelings (success or failure). These initial results suggest that the ECS would be an interesting way to understand the contrasted reality of projects, beyond the general positive feelings received in both cases. We hope that the ECS criteria will allows to guide more precisely and in a more demanding way the industrialists in their technological implementation projects.

Nathan Compan, Fabien Coutarel, Daniel Brissaud, Géraldine Rix-Lièvre
The Impact of Expertise on Query Formulation Strategies During Complex Learning Task Solving: A Study with Students in Medicine and Computer Science

This study focus on queries formulation strategies when expert users in a medical or computer science domain solved complex tasks. Ten medical students and ten computer science students had to perform four fact-finding search tasks (two simple tasks and two inferential tasks) and six learning tasks (two exploratory, two decision-making and two problem solving tasks) in these two domains. Results showed that non-experts used more terms from task statement to build their queries than experts did. Experts often produced new keywords than non-experts did. Specifically, computer science experts used more keywords not specific to the domain knowledge whereas medical experts used specific domain keywords to formulate queries. These results are a beginning to better understand how users are searching to learn when they are using Internet but further ergonomics studies have to more explore this subject to create search systems adapted to Search as Learning activity.

Cheyenne Dosso, Lynda Tamine, Pierre-Vincent Paubel, Aline Chevalier
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Workplace: A Study of Stakeholders’ Views on Benefits, Issues and Challenges of AI Systems

This paper aims to discuss issues raised by Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) in work situations, in the light of literature and an ongoing empirical study. Based on semi-structured interviews with 21 workers and 15 designers, this study explores stakeholders’ viewpoints and experiences of AI systems. The preliminary findings show the place and the use of AI systems by workers in different situations, the issues of explainability and trust, the preoccupations of workers about the introduction of AI systems in work activities and the transformations that it may cause. Finally, we discuss about an analytical framework for analyzing and anticipating the consequences of AI systems on work activities and for designing these systems through a Human-Centered approach.

Tamari Gamkrelidze, Moustafa Zouinar, Flore Barcellini
The Remanufacturing Activity: Skills to Develop and Productive Organizations to Rethink

The circular industry is increasingly at the heart of today’s preoccupations, both through savings in raw materials and the development of a different production method. This mode of production, which is more respectful of the environment, questions us in ergonomics area. Remanufacturing is one of these production methods, by its specificity of producing new products guaranteed as «like-new condition» from used products. From an organizational point of view, this activity takes root from a product in a variable state of wear and having already lived a first life, before its reuse and its (re)valorization in a second life. In order to understand this activity, the -industrial- request was oriented around the question of mobilized skills by operators, treated here on the basis of individual and collective operative regulations. This communication presents the results of an intervention lasting several months on the skills mobilized by operators during the appraisal -expertise- phases of the specific industrial remanufacturing process. Our results show a plurality of sensory skills, developed through experience and knowledge around the “potential” of each part and/or product. Based on these results, a debate on the means proposed by the Industry of the Future is proposed in order to consider the remanufacturing of tomorrow.

Kevin Guelle, Sandrine Caroly, Aurélie Landry
Steady Hands - An Evaluation on the Use of Hand Tracking in Virtual Reality Training in Nursing

Our paper describes the setup and the results of an empirical study on comparison of usability and performance while using two different input methods for training of nursing procedures in virtual reality: hand-held controller input and markerless hand tracking. As part of a research project funded by the German Ministry of Health, our study features the aseptic wound cleansing with tweezers and swabs. Our results indicate that the input method could have no significant impact on performance, but ratings on usability show a trend in favor of controller input.

Tino Hentschel, Jan A. Neuhöfer
Supporting Pain Management for Mechanically Ventilated Intensive Care Patients Using a Novel Communication Tool

Intensive care patients that are weaned from mechanical ventilation are facing substantial communication problems due to their limited ability to communicate verbally. This can lead to stress, misunderstandings, prolonged healing processes and a delirium. This paper describes the development of an application supporting the management of pain which is part of a larger system supporting patient needs. In a Human-centred design process, we analyzed both state of the art and context to narrow down and specify requirements, before we iteratively developed a high-fidelity prototype allowing patients to select and express their pain parameters like intensity and location, helping medical staff to initiate appropriate pain management.The prototype was rated positively in an evaluation conducted with 10 nursing and usability experts. Their qualitative feedback also showed some minor usability issues to be addressed. Building on these positive results, planning processes for studies with former and actual weaning patients can be intensified.

Jan Patrick Kopetz, Nicole Jochems
Users’ Error Recovery Strategies in the Interaction with Voice Assistants (VAs)

Errors in interactions with Voice Assistants (VAs) are still recurrent, but evidence shows that users try to repair interactions by applying error recovery strategies and that such tactics are affected by VA responses. Although previous studies have addressed this matter in voice-based interfaces, VAs have specific characteristics that demand new investigations. Thus, this study aimed to understand the relationship between different types of VA responses and users’ error recovery strategies. We conducted usability tests followed by debriefing sessions with VA users and identified categories of VA responses and user behavior. Our findings echo previous studies that pointed to VA responses as a source of understanding about the VA. While speech recognition issues were dealt with changes in pronunciation and repetition, participants approached unintended feature execution with exploratory behavior. Finally, when users received instructions on how to proceed, they followed recovery paths, indicating the importance of support for error handling. However, our findings show that HF/E specialists need to carefully design such guidance to accommodate users’ preferences and achieve successful recoveries.

Isabela Motta, Manuela Quaresma
User Needs for Digital Creativity Support Systems in an Occupational Context

In a two-step study, an interview followed by an online questionnaire , we investigated the potential and user needs for systems that can support humans in the context of creative work. We found that participants usually follow a general creative process in problem identification, preparation, idea generation and idea evaluation, while frequently jumping and iterating between those phases. Interviewees as well as survey participants had greater difficulties in divergent thinking as opposed to convergent thinking and used convergent thinking more often in their daily work. Since advice from colleagues was most frequently sought out during the idea generation phase, this phase provides the greatest opportunity for a creativity support system. Most participants work primarily using computers and digital tools, both alone as well as in teams. It was mentioned that especially information research can be very time consuming. Therefore, from a user’s point of view, development of an inspirational assistant that can facilitate research as well as collaboration in a digital way seems to be the most promising approach for creativity support systems for creative workers.

Lorenz Prasch, Lena aus dem Bruch, Klaus Bengler
An Empirical Study on Automation Transparency (i.e., seeing-into) of an Automated Decision Aid System for Condition-Based Maintenance

Prior studies have shown conflicting results about the impact of information disclosure on human performance– often referred to as transparency (i.e., seeing-into) studies. We conducted an experiment to investigate whether transparency manipulations predicted whether participants could identify whether features and their relative weights of a decision aid guided by a Machine Learning model were consistent with stated best practices for making maintenance decisions. We had insignificant results on state estimation, automation reliance, trust, workload, and self-confidence. This study shows that disclosing information about the decision aid rationale does not necessarily impact operator performance.

Fahimeh Rajabiyazdi, Greg A. Jamieson, David Quispe Guanolusia
A User Study to Evaluate the Customization of Automatically Generated GUIs

Graphical User Interface (GUI) development is time-consuming and error-prone. Hence, automated GUI generation from higher-level interaction design models may become more and more important . In particular, automated generation can help with interface design prototyping. The usability of fully-automatically generated GUIs is considered unsatisfactory, however. Manual changes to the generated GUI itself would need to be made persistent. Hence, we proposed customization rules on a higher level of abstraction, and changes of style sheets. This paper presents a new user study on whether this kind of customization can actually improve generated GUIs. This study achieved statistically significant results that the adjusted task time of the customized version is less than that of the fully-automatically generated one. The subjective results indicated that attractiveness and wording were improved through customization.

David Raneburger, Roman Popp, Hermann Kaindl
A Framework for Future Navigation Aids

We have developed a new framework for navigation aids that focuses on how spatial information can be presented with advances in display technology. Our framework focuses on the relationship between the navigator and spatial information within an aid in two ways, i) perspective or scene-dependence of the aid’s presentation, and ii) the aid’s ability to sense and adapt to the navigator’s context. Examples of aids in each category are provided and their effect on navigation tasks is discussed.

Adam J. Reiner, Greg A. Jamieson, Justin G. Hollands
Explainable AI for Entertainment: Issues on Video on Demand Platforms

With the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence-based systems, several questions arise involving ethical principles. In addition, the human-centered approach takes the focus on the user experience with these systems and studies user needs. A growing issue is the relationship between the transparency of these systems and the trust of users, since most systems are considered black-boxes. In this scenario, the Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) emerges, with the proposal to explain the rationale of the decision making of the algorithms. XAI then starts to gain space in systems that involve high risk, such as health. Our research aims to discuss the importance of transparency to improve the user experience with recommendation mechanisms for entertainment, such as Video on Demand (VoD) platforms. In addition, we intent to raise the adjacent consequences of including XAI, such as improving the control and trust of VoD platforms. For this, we conducted an exploratory research method named Directed Storytelling. The study was conducted with thirty-one participants, all users of VoD platforms, regardless of time and frequency of use of this kind of systems. We note that people understand that there is an automated mechanism making recommendations for content in a personalized way for them, based on their browsing history, but the rules are not explicit. Thus, many users are suspicious of being manipulated by the system’s recommendations and resort to external recommendations, such as tips from third parties or Internet searches through specialized channels.

Cinthia Ruiz, Manuela Quaresma
Reliability of Heuristic Evaluation During Usability Analysis

Scientific reliability—the degree to which a research method produces stable and consistent results—represents a major linchpin of tenable scientific research. A number of different studies support the conclusion that usability testing of software interfaces lacks scientific reliability (Jacobsen et al., 1998; Jordan, 2017). The present report augments this conclusion with findings that heuristic evaluation, the second major pillar of usability analysis, also lacks reliability. We conclude that a key priority of “usability science” should be to initiate a systematic program of inquiry to investigate the degree to which this term has meaning.

Thomas J. Smith, Cindy Kheng
Clinical Usability Studies – Clash of Cultures? Study Design Proposal from Lessons Learned

We can recently see an increased interest in real-world usability data from various global regulatory bodies for medical devices (MDs) and Software as a Medical Device (SaMD). Notably, the new European Medical Device Regulations from 2017 emphasizes the importance of clinical evaluation of the usability of MDs.As promising as the combination of clinical trials in a real-world setting and usability tests in simulated use can be, it is challenging in practice to combine these well-established methodologies. This paper discusses the challenges around important “cultural” differences and reports on lessons learned. It highlights the opportunities and strengths that both worlds offer and provides guidance for an appropriate selection or combination of user centered design methodologies. The analysis of the user experience and usability research questions and their translation into a clinical protocol is a key element.In most cases, the usability of an MD or SaMD can be sufficiently assessed with a human factors engineering evaluation (e.g., a simulated-use usability test), which can provide evidence of safe and effective use from an interactive perspective. However, some cases (e.g., for certain clinical claims) may require assessing use within a real-world environment, requiring the integration of methods from the human factors and clinical worlds. For such demanding cases, we propose a framework for a study design: a proposal on how to consider and integrate usability tests into a clinical trial.

Thomas Stüdeli, Limor Hochberg
Collaborating with Communities in Participatory System Development

Designing information and communication technology for older adults has been identified as one of the grand challenges of HCI. HCD+ is a Participatory Design framework based on Human Centered Design, aiming to provide practical guidelines to improve older adults’ participation in systems development. This paper describes a study evaluating these guidelines with 19 older adults aged between 60 and 77 years and 12 younger systems developers.Results indicate three main factors of concern for working with older adults: (1) the commitment of a trusted person in a group, (2) the atmosphere and social interaction, and (3) reciprocity of the engagement. Furthermore, results show benefits for everyone: (younger) participants as developers gained a better understanding of the potential user group and their mental models and thus felt more secure in finding appropriate design solutions.

Torben Volkmann, Michael Sengpiel, Nicole Jochems
Making Tax eForms Less Taxing—Comparing Evaluation Measures of User-Experience, Usability, and Acceptance in Public Sector eForms

eForms have become a means to decrease workload and processing speed in the public sector. As eForms go beyond simply “digitally replacing” analogue systems, their potential is not yet exhausted. However, to systematically improve eForms, appropriate tools to tailor eForms to user needs and evaluate their usability are required. The objective of this paper is to develop and evaluate a user experience questionnaire for eForms. We introduce the eForms User Experience Scale (EFUXS), which is based on the psychological needs aspect of Self-Determination Theory and its three facets (competence, autonomy, and relatedness). To assess the validity of EFUXS, its results were compared with well-known usability (System Usability Scale; Brooke, 1996) and acceptance (simple acceptance scale, van der Laan, 1997) measures. In an online study with a randomized within-subject design, university students (N = 60) evaluated their experience with two versions of the same registration form. These forms were designed to implement the best practices from a governmental guide on eForms or their inverse (“worst practices”). All three scales were able to differentiate between “good” and “bad” tax-form versions. The item-analysis of the EFUXS showed acceptable to excellent internal consistency, item difficulty, and discrimination. The scale correlated with the two comparison measures, indicating convergent validity, while offering additional insights into psychological need fulfilment. This study suggests the viability of the EFUXS as a user experience measure and highlights advantages in its use to improve eForms.

Mourad Zoubir, Daniel Wessel, Tim Schrills, Thomas Franke, Moreen Heine

Part IX: Ergonomic Work Analysis and Training (EWAT) – Addendum (Edited by Catherine Delgoulet and Marta Santos)

Learning Scenarios for the Improvement of Operating Safety of Machine Tools

Virtual Reality (VR) unveils adequate possibilities in the context of demand-oriented qualification of employees. This state-of-the-art technology represents especially for employees an attractive and effective opportunity for the acquisition and transfer of knowledge relating to processes and products [1]. The guiding principle for the application of VR technology in the context of employee qualification consists in a more substantial and sustainable knowledge development if experienced and not abstractly learned using classic learning methods. Virtual learning scenarios, such as for the commissioning or the setting-up of a machine tool, are oriented towards the sensomotoric knowledge development and therefore support the transfer of procedural and action related skills in a virtual training environment. The embedding of learning scenarios in a virtual learning environment, which represents an accessible and realistic depiction of the real work environment as well as the respective work tasks including operating actions, an improved orientation within the real work environment based on the experiences of the virtual world is expected.Apart from a methodological approach for the development of virtual learning scenarios, two defined and developed types of learning scenarios related to the commissioning of a machine tool as well as considering different learning requirements of employee qualification are introduced in this contribution.

Leif Goldhahn, Robert Eckardt
Developing a Training Action for Primary School Teachers by Doubly Considering (Their) Work

This paper aims to describe the development of a training action for primary school teachers, considering and respecting their real work activity, with the purpose of discuss with them the relevance of integrating into their teaching activity with their students a reflection about work, considering issues of gender, age, and health in the work contexts. This study was developed in the scope of an action-research project, in partnership with Porto City Council, and involved the development and pilot implementation of an in-person training action, with 4 primary teachers within 2 different public schools in Portugal. Customized tools were built with the purpose of bringing teachers’ work activity to be discussed in the training action.The teachers involved evaluated the training’ contents and tools as being very appropriate; felt that their work activity was respected and that the training action was well articulated with what was foreseen. These results point towards the benefit of discussing with teachers the contents to be developed with children and to how this process can be done. At the same time, having this discussion about work for teachers to explore the topic with their students resulted in a reflection about their own work activity and the conditions for its realisation.This project constituted a practical application of doubly considering the work activity of primary school teachers as the starting point to the design of a contextualized training action.

Ana Rodrigues, Maria Cadilhe, Filipa Ferreira, Cláudia Pereira, Marta Santos

Part X: HF/E Education and Professional Certification Development – Addendum (Edited by Chien-Chi (Max) Chang and Maggie Graf)

Applications and Implications of the Brazilian Ergonomics Regulatory Standard (NR17)

This article presents an analysis of the Brazilian Ergonomics Regulatory Standard - NR17 and its application. The association of the NR17guidelines with the domains of ergonomics specialization showed that it stresses the physical domain (50.7% of the guidelines, two of them related to people with disabilities – PwDs), while 41.5% are related to the organizational and 7.8% to the cognitive domain. This unbalance is reflected in published studies on the application of NR17, since all of them stress physical changes in the workplace, approximately half consider organizational issues and 15% address cognitive issues. Brazilian companies usually perform ergonomic interventions to comply with NR17, therefore its updates should consider increasing the number of guidelines related to cognitive issues and PwDs needs, and include macroergonomics guidelines for orienting the application of ergonomics under a systemic approach in order to guarantee higher quality of work and improve overall system performance.

Lia Buarque de Macedo Guimarães, Marcia Gemari Derenevich, Rosimeire Sedrez Bitencourt

Part XI: Organisation Design and Management (ODAM) – Addendum (Edited by Laerte Idal Sznelwar)

Occupational Safety and Protection Against Infection in Times of the Pandemic: Challenges for Human Factors and Regulation

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a tremendous impact on societies, economies and individuals. The increased spreading of the virus in the society led to new challenges for occupational safety and health, and, thus, for fast reactions. In Germany federal regulations and technical rules for health care and activities within the scope of the biological agents ordinance were in place already, but companies in other domains, e.g. production and services, implemented only own solutions to the best of their knowledge. This led to confusion and uncertainty. Soon it became clear that official standards and mandatory federal technical rules were required to identify suitable protective methods and means. Moreover, they were required for legal certainty. This led to the early publication of the German SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety Standard and the subsequent development of sectoral rules of the German Social Accident Insurance. Soon afterwards, the mandatory SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety Technical Rule provided further details about background of the pandemic, central aspects and definitions, protective technical means and methods, and preventive occupational healthcare. The development was coordinated by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) and elaborated by the Advisory Committees of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). The committees have a pluralistic composition, which ensure that the relevant groups in society have a good specialist representation. This has been very important for acceptance and compliance in the working environment.

Thomas Alexander, Lars Adolph, Stefan Voss
Presenteeism and Voice: Ergonomic Factors for Sports Coaches

Sports coaches are vocally reliant, with recognized occupational risk factors affecting their voice use and vocal health. Limited prior research has cooperatively explored coaches’ experiences of vocal ergonomic factors during coaching participation. Further, no research has explored coaches vocal or broader presenteeism experiences. As part of a broader action inquiry, coaches (n = 28) in nine professional basketball teams were asked about their vocal and broader health experiences relative to coaching participation. In seven teams, inquiry dialogue with coaches explored coaches’ experiences of presenteeism, including the contributions of vocal ergonomic factors. These factors were present at various levels of coaches’ work systems, including personal factors, work activity demands, team culture, club-based factors, and sport-related factors. These discussions also revealed how gender and adverse vocal health were associated with coaches’ beliefs regarding presenteeism behaviors. Findings from this inquiry provide innovative contributions to the broader academic narrative regarding presenteeism.

Katie Buckley, Jennifer Oates, Paul O’Halloran, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson, Lindsay Carey
Ergo@Large: Collaborating for the Benefits of HF/E

Ergo@Large is a group of passionate and caring people collaborating on a journey to improve health and wellness through a unique Human Factors/Ergonomics collaborative and inclusive approach opened at large to the many professions involving humans at work in Canada. A group of professors, students and experts came together and formed a sub-committee of the Association of Canadian Ergonomist (ACE) to explore the current state and future of Ergonomics. The committee aims at inspiring new approaches and to encourage discoveries. This article explains the creative approach through four different programs: 1 - Student Projects, 2 - Monitoring/Analyzing, 3 - Survey/Tendencies and 4 - Redaction/Publishing and steps taken since the creation of the Ergo@Large committee with plans for the next five years. The committee operates virtually facilitating an innovative operation structure based on a hockey team organization to avoid silos and divisions per province but rather regroup the pan Canadian group members in teams regardless of their geographic locations to foster inclusion and collaboration.

Jeanne Guérin
A Synthesis of Subjective Scales Which Assess Worker Fatigue: Building a Simple, Reliable, and Effective Evaluative Instrument

The accurate assessment of operator fatigue has bedeviled ergonomics since before the field was formally constituted. From the archives of the British Industrial Fatigue Research Board in the pre-World-War I era, to Muscio’s (1921) famous inquiry “is a fatigue test possible?’ [1], the question of assessment has been a perpetual challenge. The lack of accurate assessment is allied to a ready recognition that fatigue plays a critical role in many large-scale disasters as well as errors and incidents of less social prominence, but which are nevertheless equally problematic. In recent decades, in our 24-7-365 world, the issue of operator fatigue continues to impact multiple millions of workers around the world; a propensity that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. Yet all is not doom and gloom. Most especially in the 21st century, a number of promising methods and techniques have been offered to provide reliable, quantitative values which specify fatigue levels. Very much like the allied concern for workload assessment [2], the three primary methods of assessment concern primary task performance, physiological assessment approaches, and subjective evaluations. The present work is focused on the latter mode, being arguably the most useful for the prospective projection of future fatigue levels. In short, the issue of fatigue is a large and growing one, its assessment is a crucial ergonomic concern, synthesized subjective assessment techniques promise to provide a vital answer.

Gabriella M. Hancock, Mira Gruber, Uyen D. Bui, Jessica Blay-Moreira, Yvette Apatiga, Christian E. Schmitz, Peter A. Hancock
Heat Stress Management in the Construction Industry: A Socio-technical Systems Perspective

Due to heavy physical outdoor work construction workers’ safety is compromised by climatic heat stress. Heat stress in construction consists of environmental, organizational, technological, and personal elements. Administrative controls, environmental engineering controls, and personal engineering controls are safety interventions in the construction industry adopted to cope with heat stress. Numerous indices, models, and protective guidelines are introduced to measure and manage heat stress. Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), Humidex, thermal work limit (TWL), predicted heat strain (PHS) are common indices used to measure heat stress. Imposing mandatory work-rest regimens is done through regulations as well as organizational work systems. Self-pacing, an alternative method of heat stress management, can be optimized by work system design using self-regulating worker groups. Because of the pragmatic and loosely-coupled nature of the construction industry, the design of self-regulating worker groups needs to be addressed in a socio-technical approach. It would comprise of consultative and substantive worker participation to optimize the work system for the benefit of individual and organization.

Damithri Gayashini Melagoda, Steve Rowlinson
Attitude Towards Artificial Intelligence in a Leadership Role

The current development of AI technologies shows that in the future it will be possible to help people with certain problems by analyzing data sets but also to support them with more complex tasks. For example, AI has already been implemented in some companies to take over routine tasks in the HR department or to assist managers with administrative tasks so that they can focus on essential tasks. Thus, this interview study was designed to answer the main research question of what attitudes people have toward AI as a manager. N = 32 subjects from different industries participated in the interview (16 male and 16 female; mean age 36.74, SD = 12.42), of which 14 had leadership responsibilities and 18 had no employee responsibilities. It was found that tech-savvy individuals find it difficult to envision AI technologies in both work context and leadership. If it ever comes to that, the subjects want a transparent application that supports them and gives them space for interpersonal interactions with a human supervisor. Further research in this area is needed.

Deborah Petrat
Macroergonomics-Based Approach for a Management Trainee Program in the Utilities Industry

The purpose of this study was to help companies to design a better management trainee program using macroergonomics-based approach. The study used observation and focus group discussion to gather data and assess the management trainee program of a company in the utilities industry in order to propose a new job design for management trainees that might boost employee retention and satisfaction among the program graduates even after program graduation. Through qualitative data gathering, this study identified which factors play an important role in keeping management trainees engaged and motivated. With a successful management trainee program, companies might be able to attract high-caliber graduates and train them into becoming future leaders in a more effective and efficient way. The study found that in order to improve the management trainee program, the company should focus on training for individual holistic development, job rotation within the critical functions, mentorship and feedback for continuous improvement, ownership and responsibility, performance evaluation, job enrichment, and job enlargement.

Yogi Tri Prasetyo, Johnamae Khow

Part XII: Systems HF/E – Addendum (Edited by Paul M. Salmon)

Human Factors Effects on a Human-Robot Collaboration System: A Modelling Approach

This work introduces a system dynamics-based model for designing feedback mechanisms related to the physical and mental workload in Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) systems. As a dynamic and non-linear system, HRC workplaces challenges ergonomic operations in the medium and long terms, and it is crucial to understand the whole system in order to increase reliability in decision-making about ergonomic interventions. The aim of this paper is to define which variables are to be considered and how they interact to predict the behavior of the HRC system over time. The method applied in the work follows four phases: literature review to systematic search for case studies and theoretical literature embracing the objectives of this work; summary of factors in HRC systems and their relationships obtained through the review of previous studies; definition of variables for the model gathered in a way they became the variables to be modeled; design of the Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) as a qualitative model developed from the variables, which formalizes and delimits the context to be analyzed. This paper proposes the conceptual definition by considering both physical and mental overload as cause of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) and influence on productivity. The work shows both subsystems, how they are connected, and reinforce the importance of looking at ergonomic problems with a systemic approach. Modeling the whole system is key to solve ergonomic problems in industry. The qualitative model CLD provided through the literature review is useful in understanding HRC systems.

Guilherme Deola Borges, Paula Carneiro, Pedro Arezes

Part XIII: Slips, Trips and Falls – Addendum (Edited by Richard Bowman)

The Future of Footwear Friction

New technologies that enhance our understanding of shoe-floor mechanics have opened opportunities to address slip and fall accidents. Footwear has been identified as one critical factor capable of reducing an individual’s risk. Thus, this moment is ripe for reducing the burden of slips, trips, and fall events. New technology can be broadly categorized into: 1) new modeling methods for predicting footwear friction performance; 2) new experimental methods for characterizing friction mechanics; and 3) new human-centred methods for characterizing interactions between the footwear and the user. These emerging technologies have the potential to elevate friction and traction performance of footwear and enhance the information available to ergonomics professionals to match appropriate footwear to applications. However, the deployment of these technologies is only beginning to guide footwear design and consumer behaviors. Thus, the footwear manufacturers’ perspective in implementing new technology will also be presented. In this workshop, we will A) present information regarding emerging technologies in addition to their benefits and limitations; and B) survey the audience, disaggregated by industry sector, to obtain new data on the potential for these technologies to be accepted and implemented by professionals.

Kurt E. Beschorner, Yue (Sophia) Li, Takeshi Yamaguchi, William Ells, Richard Bowman
Effects of Foot–Floor Friction on Trip-Induced Falls During Shuffling Gait: A Simulation Study

Tripping while walking has been identified as the most common cause of falls among the elderly as they tend to utilize a shuffling gait while walking, which increases the risk of falling. Since tripping occurs when toes make unexpected contact with objects on the floor, a number of studies have investigated the impact of foot clearance on the risk of tripping. However, only a few studies have examined the effects of foot–floor friction on the risk of tripping. Thus, in this current study, we investigated the effect of foot–floor friction on the probability of trip-induced falls during normal and shuffling gaits in a computational simulation study. We used a computational model with neural rhythm generators and neuromusculoskeletal systems to simulate gait in a self-organized manner. By changing the parameters of the neural rhythm generator, gait parameters such as step length, cadence, and foot clearance were automatically reduced, which simulated the shuffling gait. To alter the foot–floor friction, we changed the spring coefficient ratio of the floor in horizontal and vertical directions. As per our results, it was determined that slip-induced falls occurred under low foot–floor friction conditions in both normal and shuffling gaits, whereas trip-induced falls occurred under high foot–floor friction conditions only with a shuffling gait. These results suggest that optimal foot–floor friction may prevent trip- and slip-induced falls among the elderly.

Takeshi Yamaguchi, Kenichi Nakatani, Tomoki Hirose, Takashi Yoshida, Kei Masani
Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021)
Dr. Nancy L. Black
Dr. W. Patrick Neumann
Dr. Ian Noy
Copyright Year
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN