Research on the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Associated With Manual Materials Handling


Publication of two Open Access Articles in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics


Musculoskeletal disorders, also known as MSDs, are one of the most
common causes of chronic pain and activity limitations and lead to high health care costs worldwide. With regard to physical risk factors, empirical results indicate a relationship between work-related manual materials handling, shortened MMH, and the occurrence of MSDs, particularly in the lower back.

The assessment of work-related physical stress during MMH is therefore of central importance for the prevention of work-related MSDs and is also being investigated in the Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems Department at IAW. In this context, two open access publications have recently been published in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics: One publication compares and evaluates methods for quantifying physical strain during MMH. The other publication examines the use of real-time feedback to improve movement performance in manual load handling. 

Overall, valuable insights can be drawn from the work of the Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems Department for the human-centered design of physical work in the case of MMH tasks.

The research within the two publications is part of the publicly funded projects KWH 4.0 (funding code: EFRE-0200459), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ANBest-EFRE), as well as Tech4Age (funding code: 16SV7111) and workHEALTH (funding code: 01EC1905B), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).