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Assessing the effects of positive feedback and reinforcement in the introduction phase of an ergonomic intervention.

Authors
Brandenburg-DL; Mirka-GA
Source
Hum Factors 2005 Sep-Nov; 47(3):526-535
NIOSHTIC No.
20029361
Abstract
Resistance to change is common in ergonomic interventions, often resulting in negative consequences when the intervention's effectiveness is studied. A lab-based study assessed the effects of positive reinforcement during the intervention process. On Day 1 all participants performed a simple screw-driving task that placed stress on the cervicobrachial region through static loading. On Day 2 a control group received basic information about ergonomics and then performed the task using an ergonomic intervention that has been shown to reduce loading on these muscle groups. The experimental group received the same basic information but also received positive reinforcement while performing the task with the ergonomic intervention. Subjective task assessment surveys and body-part discomfort surveys were administered, and these, along with speed of performance, were assessed in both groups. The results showed a significantly (p < .05) more positive subjective impression of the intervention for the feedback group than for the control group (29%-57% improvement) with no real changes in either the performance or discomfort levels. Applications of this research include improving workers' acceptance of ergonomic interventions in industrial and other settings. The reinforcement technique evaluated in this paper has yielded consistently positive effects in our ongoing ergonomic intervention research.
Keywords
Ergonomics; Laboratory-testing; Muscles; Muscle-stress; Feedback-controls
CODEN
HUFAA6
Publication Date
20050901
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007551
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0018-7208
Source Name
Human Factors
State
NC
Performing Organization
East Carolina University
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