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Muscle Biofeedback Assessment Helps Improve Worker Productivity


YCAN - Muscle Biofeedback Assessment Helps Improve Worker Productivity

Since many jobs that require repetitive movements can result in injury to workers, analyzing worker technique and muscle activity in relation to the workstation can yield answers to how an injury is incurred and how to prevent it from recurring.

Using surface electromyography (SEMG), an ergonomic analysis of worker behavior, posture, and movement can be conducted. The SEMG is a biofeedback instrument to measure muscle tension, and its use permits muscle function to be assessed in an objective and reproducible way.

The Winter 2010 issue of the journal Biofeedback, published by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Wheat Ridge, Colo, includes a case study of pressmen working at the print facilities of a major US news publishing company. Ergonomic analysis identified excessive workplace injuries to the neck and shoulder, most commonly the rotator cuff on the right side.

Three activities were then targeted for intervention: blanket washing, newsprint roll handling, and predrive belt positioning wheel adjustments. With the use of SEMG, researchers determined whether improvements to the workstation, worker technique, or both were more likely to lower the risk of injury while performing these tasks.

Data were collected by using two active electrodes placed parallel to the targeted muscles. Muscles studied included the left and right upper trapezius and the left and right lumbar paraspinals.

The researchers found that some of the workers’ movements might save time, but not injury.

One solution was to retrain the worker not to perform these tasks simultaneously.

Surface Electromyography-Assisted Ergonomic Analysis in a Newspaper Printing Plant: A Case Study, Biofeedback, Volume 38, Issue 4, Winter 2010.

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YCAN - Muscle Biofeedback Assessment Helps Improve Worker Productivity

Since many jobs that require repetitive movements can result in injury to workers, analyzing worker technique and muscle activity in relation to the workstation...

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