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Validation of tri-axial accelerometer for the calculation of elevation angles.

Amasay-T; Zodrow-K; Kincl-L; Hess-J; Karduna-A
Int J Ind Ergon 2009 Sep; 39(5):783-789
One of the main issues in occupational studies focusing on musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity is how to best quantify workers' exposures to risk factors during a workday. Direct measurement is preferred because it is objective and provides precise measurements. To measure elevation angle exposure of the upper extremity, accelerometers are commonly used. The main problem with the use of accelerometers is the fact that they are sensitive to linear acceleration and can only assess two axes of rotation. In the present study the Virtual Corset, a pager-sized, battery powered, tri-axial linear accelerometer with an integrated data logger, was validated in vitro for the reconstruction of elevation angles under static conditions and angle error prediction under dynamic conditions. For static conditions, the RMS angle error was less than 1degree. Under dynamic conditions the elevation angle error was influenced by the radius and angular acceleration. However, the angle error was predicted well with an RMS difference of 3 degrees. It was concluded that the Virtual Corset can be used to accurately predict arm elevation angles under static conditions. Under dynamic conditions, an understanding of the motion being studied and the placement of the Virtual Corset relative to the joint are necessary. Relevance to industry: A device is tested that could capture posture exposure of the shoulder at the workplace during a workday. Such exposure measurement can be used to test interventions and to develop preventive guidelines to reduce risk factors associated with musculoskeletal injuries of the upper extremity.
Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Extremities; Measurement-equipment; Acceleration; Risk-analysis; In-vitro-study; Height-factors; Biomechanics; Body-mechanics; Body-regions; Motion-studies; Humans; Posture; Equipment-reliability; Exposure-assessment; Author Keywords: Virtual Corset; Shoulder exposure; Inclination angle; Angle error prediction; Pendulum
Andrew Karduna, Department of Human Physiology, 1240 University of Oregon, 122-C Esslinger Hall, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Grant; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-008288; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-008307
Issue of Publication
Source Name
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Performing Organization
University of Oregon