Validation of endurance model for manual tasks*

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Date
2023-12-11
Authors
O’Sullivan, Patricia
Menolotto, Matteo
O’Flynn, Brendan
Komaris, Dimitrios-Sokratis
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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Abstract
Physical fatigue in the workplace can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), especially in occupations that require repetitive, mid-air movements, such as manufacturing and assembly tasks in industry settings. The current paper endeavors to validate an existing torque-based fatigue prediction model for lifting tasks. The model uses anthropometrics and the maximum torque of the individual to predict the time to fatigue. Twelve participants took part in the study which measured body composition parameters and the maximum force produced by the shoulder joint in flexion, followed by three lifting tasks for the shoulder in flexion, including isometric and dynamic tasks with one and two hands. Inertial measurements units (IMUs) were worn by participants to determine the torque at each instant to calculate the endurance time and CE, while a self-subjective questionnaire was utilized to assess physical exertion, the Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. The model was effective for static and two-handed tasks and produced errors in the range of [28.62 49.21] for the last task completed, indicating the previous workloads affect the endurance time, even though the individual perceives they are fully rested. The model was not effective for the one-handed dynamic task and differences were observed between males and females, which will be the focus of future work.An individualized, torque-based fatigue prediction model, such as the model presented, can be used to design worker-specific target levels and workloads, take inter and intra individual differences into account, and put fatigue mitigating interventions into place before fatigue occurs; resulting in potentially preventing WMSDs, aiding in worker wellbeing and benefitting the quality and efficiency of the work output.Clinical Relevance— This research provides the basis for an individualized, torque-based approach to the prediction of fatigue at the shoulder joint which can be used to assign worker tasks and rest breaks, design worker specific targets and reduce the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in occupational settings.
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Keywords
Musculoskeletal system , Torque , Measurement units , Shoulder , Predictive models , Fatigue , Particle measurements
Citation
O’Sullivan, P., Menolotto, M., O’Flynn, B. and Komaris, D.-S. (2023) 'Validation of endurance model for manual tasks*', 2023 45th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), Sydney, Australia, 24-27 July, pp. 1-5, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC40787.2023.10341139