|Title||Efficacy of passive upper-limb exoskeletons in reducing musculoskeletal load associated with overhead tasks.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Kong, Y-K, Kim, JH, Shim, H-H, Shim, J-W, Park, S-S, Choi, K-H|
Overhead work can pose substantial musculoskeletal stress in many industrial settings. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of passive upper-limb exoskeletons in reducing muscular activity and subjective discomfort ratings. In a repeated-measures laboratory experiment, 20 healthy male participants performed 10-min drilling tasks with and without two passive upper-limb exoskeletons (VEX and Airframe). During the tasks, muscle activity in eight muscles (upper limb - upper trapezius, middle deltoid, biceps brachii, triceps brachii; low back - erector spinae; lower limb - rectus femoris, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior) was collected using electromyography as a physical exertion measure. Subjective discomfort rating in six body parts was measured using the Borg's CR-10 scale. The results showed that muscle activity (especially in the upper-limb muscles) was significantly decreased by 29.3-58.1% with both exoskeletons compared to no exoskeleton condition. The subjective discomfort ratings showed limited differences between the conditions. These findings indicate that passive upper-limb exoskeletons may have potential as an effective intervention to reduce muscular loading and physical exertion during overhead work.
|Alternate Journal||Appl Ergon|