The use of a three-dimensional dynamic arm support prevents the development of muscle fatigue during repetitive manual tasks in healthy individuals.

TitleThe use of a three-dimensional dynamic arm support prevents the development of muscle fatigue during repetitive manual tasks in healthy individuals.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLavallée-Bourget, M-H, Campeau-Lecours, A, Tittley, J, Bielmann, M, Bouyer, LJ, Roy, J-S
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue4
Paginatione0266390
Date Published2022
ISSN1932-6203
Abstract

Work-related upper extremity disorders are costly to society due to resulting medical costs, presenteeism and absenteeism. Although their aetiology is likely multifactorial, physical workplace factors are known to play an important role in their development. Promising options for preventing work-related upper extremity disorders include assistive technologies such as dynamic arm supports designed to follow the movement of the arm while compensating for its weight. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a dynamic arm support on perceived exertion, muscle activity and movement patterns of the upper limb during repetitive manual tasks in healthy individuals. Thirty healthy right-handed individuals were allocated either a static or a dynamic task to perform with and without a dynamic arm support. During the task, surface electromyographic activity (anterior and middle deltoid, upper trapezius) and upper limb kinematics (elbow, shoulder, sternoclavicular) were measured using surface EMG and inertial sensors. Results showed that the dynamic arm support significantly reduced perceived exertion during the tasks and limited the development of muscular fatigue of the anterior and middle deltoid as demonstrated by EMG signal mean epoch amplitudes and median frequency of the EMG power spectrum. The dynamic arm support also prevented a decrease in shoulder elevation and an increase in total shoulder joint excursion during static and dynamic task, respectively. These results denote the potential benefits of dynamic arm supports in work environments. Further studies should focus on their efficacy, acceptability and implementability in work settings.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0266390
Alternate JournalPLoS One
PubMed ID35363820
PubMed Central IDPMC8975113