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An Investigation of External Support Choices and Behaviours During One-Handed Exertions with Constrained Reaches

Introduction: External support behaviours, which include leaning (supporting with the non-task hand) or bracing (supporting with the body), are frequently employed by workers in manufacturing settings. However, current ergonomic assessment tools are limited by our limited understanding of these behaviours. Recent studies have investigated these behaviours, however, the designs of these studies are limited in their applicability to real-world scenarios. The purpose of this study was to assess how different task parameters affect the prediction of external support behaviours, as well as the effect of support on task hand, and body, kinematics and kinetics, in a minimally constrained experimental design. Methods: Female participants (n = 18) performed a series of one-handed maximal exertions (in the six orthogonal directions), and one precision task, in four hand Locations. Trials either featured support (as chosen by the participant), or no support. Results & Discussion: Three logistic regression models were developed, with inputs from individual and task characteristics, and they correctly predicted the occurrence of leaning, bracing, or simultaneous leaning and bracing, 74-86% of the time. Leaning and/or bracing were found to provide: 1) oppositional forces to increase task hand force generation, 2) balance, by countering destabilizing moments about the feet, and 3) a reduction in moment arm of the task hand force, with respect to the upper body joints, by bringing the shoulder closer to the task hand. Participants were able to exert 64.8% more force at the task hand as a result of support. Leaning hand placement depended on the task force direction and location. However, the positioning of the leaning hand varied very little. Finally, the precision condition showed that fine motor demands may also affect external support choice. / Thesis / Master of Science in Kinesiology

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:mcmaster.ca/oai:macsphere.mcmaster.ca:11375/16401
Date January 2014
CreatorsLiebregts, Julian H.
ContributorsPotvin, James, Keir, Peter, Lyons, Jim, Kinesiology
Source SetsMcMaster University
LanguageEnglish
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis

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