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Is it the peak that matters or is it the cumulative exposure?

Authors
Wells-R; Sj°gaard-G
Source
Arbete och Halsa 2001 Jun; 2001(10):481-483
NIOSHTIC No.
20041300
Abstract
Introduction: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis and certain myalgias are considered to have strong work-related components. Many measures of "ergonomic exposure" in the workplace have been used in determining their work-relatedness. There are many possible injury mechanisms that could be responsible for the development of these disorders at work. Some are clearly due to a high peak load, rupture of the interspinous ligament (due perhaps to a fall) or end plate failure in a lumbar motion unit while some are the result of longer term processes such as the development of myalgia in the trapezius. Inspection of some recent reviews shows that exposure measures used in epidemiological studies of musculoskeletal disorders fall into groups such as force, posture, repetition, static load, and vibration (1, 2). It should be noted that this discussion of the importance of peak and average exposures is also present in environmental and occupational health sciences where the most common metric of exposure is the Time-Weighted Average (TWA). This paper addresses the findings from physiological and epidemiological sources as to the importance of peak and cumulative exposure on the development of musculoskeletal disorders and makes some suggestions on exposures to include in the study of MSDs.
Keywords
Ergonomics; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Employee-exposure; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Back-injuries; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Injuries; Force; Posture; Repetitive-work; Vibration; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Physiological-factors; Kinesiology
Contact
Richard Wells, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Publication Date
20010601
Document Type
Abstract
Email Address
wells@healthy.uwaterloo.ca
Editors
Hagsberg-M; Knave-B; Lillienberg-L; Westberg-H
Funding Amount
290074
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2001
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
ISBN No.
9789170456077
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003708
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
0346-7821
Source Name
Arbete och Halsa (X2001 - exposure assessment in epidemiology and practice, June 10-13, 2001, G÷teborg, Sweden)
Performing Organization
The Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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