Performance evaluation of a wearable inertial motion capture system for capturing physical exposures during manual material handling tasks.
Ergonomics 2013 Feb; 56(2):314-326
With a long-term goal of improving quantification of physical exposures in the workplace, this study examined the ability of a commercially available inertial motion capture (IMC) system in quantifying exposures during five different simulated manual material handling tasks. Fourteen participants repeated all these tasks in three 20 min sequential time blocks. Performance of the IMC system was compared against an optical motion capture (OMC) system ('gold standard') in terms of joint angles, angular velocities and moments at selected body parts. Though several significant changes in performance over time were found, the magnitudes of these were relatively small and may have limited practical relevance. The IMC system yielded peak kinematic values that differed by up to 28% from the OMC system. The IMC system, in some cases, incorrectly reflected the actual extremity positions of a participant, and which can cause relatively large errors in joint moment estimation. Given the potential limitations, practical recommendations are offered and discussed. PRACTITIONER SUMMARY: Use of an inertial motion capture system can advance the quantification of physical exposures in situ. Results indicate a good potential capacity for capturing physical exposure data in the field for an extended period, while highlighting potential limitations. Future system application can help provide better understandings of dose-exposure relationships.
Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanics; Quantitative-analysis; Equipment-reliability; Motion-studies; Employee-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Manual-lifting; Simulation-methods; Manual-materials-handling; Optical-aids; Body-regions; Body-burden; Weight-factors; Task-performance; Extremities; Physiological-factors; Materials-handling;
Author Keywords: inertial motion capture; optical motion capture; physical exposures; manual material handling
Maury A. Nussbaum, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 250 Durham Hall (0118), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University