The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors. For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product or research paper.
Jodi Oakman et al. performed a 6 year study looking at issues of workability and musculoskeletal pain in a Finnish food industry company. They looked at the relationship between workability and musculoskeletal pain, physical work conditions, and psychosocial work conditions as well as what interventions made changes to workability levels. (Of note, this study was interesting to me as I have been working with an employer that has performed a musculoskeletal discomfort survey with its employees to help to identify tasks that may be contributing to musculoskeletal discomfort.)
A study by Sherry Hassam et al. looked at a 24 month intervention using the “Walking Works Wonders” program to evaluate changes to office based participants in a standard walking program and a tailored intervention program when compared to a control group. While both exercise groups demonstrated improvements in measures of well being and resting heart rate, those in the tailored intervention demonstrated additional improvements in BMI measures and waist circumference.
A companion study to the above walking intervention study by Kazi et al. notes that sitting at work for the 1120 participants in the study accounted for nearly 60% of their daily sitting time and that those is sales and customer service positions have higher BMI and poorer health than those in other employment sectors.
Jesse Jacobs et al. looked at employee attitudes towards acceptance of wearable devices in the workplace. They found that employers who want to implement wearables “should (a) focus its use on improving workplace safety, (b) advance a positive safety climate, (c) ensure sufficient evidence to support employees’ beliefs that the wearable will meet its objective, and (d) involve and inform employees in the process of selecting and implementing wearable technology.”
Xavier Robert-Lachaine et al. looked at the feasibility of using magnetic and inertial measurement units for analyzing performance of manual material handling tasks. They found that while visualization of the data collected for the head, arms, and legs did not demonstrate significant visual difference from data collected visually by observers, there was a greater difference between visualization of data and observer’s evaluation of trunk movement. They found that using these units can be acceptable, visual verification of the data is still important to ensure validity as magnetic disturbances can increase measurement error and affect collected data.