Evaluation of a dynamic arm support for seated and standing tasks: a laboratory study of electromyography and subjective feedback.
Odell D; Barr A; Goldberg R; Chung J; Rempel D
Ergonomics 2007 Apr; 50(4):520-535
The goal of this study was to determine whether a new dynamic arm support system reduced shoulder and arm muscle load for seated and standing hand/ arm tasks. The new system provides support for both horizontal and vertical arm motion. A total of 11 participants performed ten tasks (five seated and five standing) both with and without the arm support. Outcomes were assessed with electromyography and subjective feedback. Muscle activity was measured over the dominant side supraspinatus, triceps and forearm extensor muscles. Significant (p < 0.01) reductions in static muscle activity were observed in one of ten tasks performed with the support device for the supraspinatus muscle, in five tasks for the triceps and in one task for forearm extensor muscles. Likewise, a significant improvement in subjective measures was reported with the support device for 'ease of task' for two of ten tasks, for 'forearm comfort' for three of ten tasks and for 'shoulder effort' for six of ten tasks. The results suggest that a dynamic forearm support may improve subjective comfort and reduce static muscle loads in the upper extremity for tasks that involve horizontal movement of the arms. For rapid motions, the value of the support is limited due to internal inertia and friction.
Biological-effects; Biological-function; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics; Cell-biology; Cellular-reactions; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Engineering; Engineering-controls; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Injury-prevention; Laboratory-testing; Mechanics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Neurological-reactions; Physiological-effects; Physiological-measurements; Physiological-response; Posture; Quantitative-analysis; Repetitive-work; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Tissue-disorders; Training; Work-performance; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: Forearm; Support; Electromyography; Shoulder; Muscle load
David Rempel, Ergonomics Laboratory, University of California, Richmond Field Station 1301 S. 46th Street, Building 163, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
University of California, Berkeley