Anthropometric, muscle strength, and spinal mobility characteristics as predictors in the rating of acceptable loads in parcel sorting.

Research paper by H R HR Stålhammar, V V Louhevaara

Indexed on: 01 Sep '92Published on: 01 Sep '92Published in: Ergonomics


The rating of acceptable load (RAL) attained with a standard test (RALSt) and a wrk-simulating test (RALW) for postal parcel sorting was related to anthropometric, muscle strength, and spinal mobility characteristics of 18 male sorters. The subjects comprised a subsample of 103 experienced male sorters who carried out the RAL tests at postal sorting centres. The dynamic hand-grip endurance correlated significantly (p = 0.036) to the RALSt results. Correspondingly, there was a significant correlation (p = 0.044) between the ratio of maximal isometric strength of trunk extension to body weight and the RALW. The dynamic hand-grip endurance predicted 26% of the variation in the RALSt; in the RALW the maximal isometric strength of trunk flexion to body weight ratio predicted 24%. The subjects who rated heavier weights for RALSt tended to have a better trunk mobility. The dynamic endurance of hand-grip muscles, trunk strength, and spinal flexibility seemed to be the most powerful predictors for the psychophysically assessed 'acceptable loads' in experienced workers performing manual materials handling tasks.