Ergonomic Evaluation of Workload in Imbalanced Lower Limbs Postures
Journal of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the workload level at each lower limbs posture and suggest the ergonomic workstation guideline for working period by evaluating the imbalanced lower limbs postures from the physiological and psychophysical points of view. Background: Many workers like welders are working in various imbalanced lower limbs postures either due to the narrow working conditions or other environmental conditions. Method: Ten male subjects participated in this
... nt. Subjects were asked to maintain 3 different lower limbs postures(standing, squatting and bending) with 3 different working conditions(balanced floor with no scaffold, imbalanced floor with 10cm height of scaffold, and imbalanced floor with 20cm height of scaffold). EMG data for the 4 muscle groups(Retus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Tibialis Anterior, Gastrocnemius) from each lower limbs posture were collected for 20 seconds every 2 minutes during the 8 minutes sustaining task. Subjects were also asked to report their discomfort ratings of body parts such as waist, upper legs, lower legs, and ankle. Results: The ANOVA results showed that the EMG root mean square(RMS) values and the discomfort ratings(CR-10 Rating Scale) were significantly affected by lower limbs postures and working time(p<0.05). The correlation was analyzed between the EMG data and the discomfort ratings. Also, prediction models for the discomfort rating for each posture were developed using physical condition, working time, and scaffold height. Conclusion: We strongly recommend that one should not work more than 6 minutes in a standing or squatting postures and should not work more than 4 minutes in a bending posture. Application: The results of this study could be used to design and assess working environments and methods. Furthermore, these results could be used to suggest ergonomic guidelines for the lower limbs postures such as squatting and bending in the working fields in order to prevent fatigue and pain in the lower limbs body.