The feasibility of repositioning ability as a tool for ergonomic evaluation: Effects of chair back inclination and fatigue on head repositioning

T. F. Y. WONG, Hung Kay Daniel CHOW, A. D. HOLMES, K. M. C. CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poor posture has been suggested as one of the main factors contributing to the high prevalence of neck pain in video display unit (VDU) users, but no clear association between pain and any particular resting neck posture has been found. Postural awareness of the neck, as indicated by the repositioning accuracy, may therefore be an appropriate measure and potentially useful assessment tool. The objective of this study is to examine whether posture and fatigue affect the head repositioning ability in typical VDU usage. 

A group of 20 healthy participants reproduced a normal comfortable posture for forward, upright and backward chair back inclinations in random order both before and after fatigue of the upper trapezius muscles. Ten repetitions of the posture were recorded for 2 s each, and the angular and translational deviations from the original head position were measured with regard to the external environment (head in space repositioning) and with regard to the trunk (head on trunk repositioning). Analysis by repeated measures ANOVA showed significant effects and interactions of fatigue and chair back inclination on the repositioning errors in the sagittal plane, which typically showed systematic trends towards certain postures rather than random errors around a mean position. 

While further work is required to examine the ergonomic impact of impaired repositioning ability, head repositioning is sensitive to ergonomic factors such as seating configuration and fatigue, and may therefore be a useful tool for evaluation of static working postures. Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-873
JournalErgonomics
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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Aptitude
Human Engineering
Ergonomics
Posture
fatigue
Fatigue
ergonomics
Head
Fatigue of materials
ability
evaluation
pain
video
Display devices
Random errors
Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
Neck
Muscle
Superficial Back Muscles
Neck Pain

Citation

Wong, T. F. Y., Chow, D. H. K., Holmes, A. D., & Cheung, K. M. C. (2006). The feasibility of repositioning ability as a tool for ergonomic evaluation: Effects of chair back inclination and fatigue on head repositioning. Ergonomics, 49(9), 860-873. doi: 10.1080/00140130600577460

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Head repositioning
  • Backrest inclination
  • Fatigue