Wearable Motion Capture Devices for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Ergonomics-An Overview of Current Applications, Challenges, and Future Opportunities

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Apr 25;23(9):4259. doi: 10.3390/s23094259.


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a major contributor to disability worldwide and substantial societal costs. The use of wearable motion capture instruments has a role in preventing WMSDs by contributing to improvements in exposure and risk assessment and potentially improved effectiveness in work technique training. Given the versatile potential for wearables, this article aims to provide an overview of their application related to the prevention of WMSDs of the trunk and upper limbs and discusses challenges for the technology to support prevention measures and future opportunities, including future research needs. The relevant literature was identified from a screening of recent systematic literature reviews and overviews, and more recent studies were identified by a literature search using the Web of Science platform. Wearable technology enables continuous measurements of multiple body segments of superior accuracy and precision compared to observational tools. The technology also enables real-time visualization of exposures, automatic analyses, and real-time feedback to the user. While miniaturization and improved usability and wearability can expand the use also to more occupational settings and increase use among occupational safety and health practitioners, several fundamental challenges remain to be resolved. The future opportunities of increased usage of wearable motion capture devices for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders may require more international collaborations for creating common standards for measurements, analyses, and exposure metrics, which can be related to epidemiologically based risk categories for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

PMID:37177463 | DOI:10.3390/s23094259

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