Current techniques for assessing physical exposure to work-related musculoskeletal risks, with emphasis on posture-based methods

Ergonomics. 1999 May;42(5):674-95. doi: 10.1080/001401399185388.


Physical exposure to risks for potential work-related musculoskeletal injuries has been assessed using a variety of methods, including pen and paper based observation methods, videotaping and computer-aided analysis, direct or instrumental techniques, and various approaches to self-report assessment. These methods are critically reviewed in this paper. The applications of these techniques in ergonomic and epidemiologic studies are considered, and their advantages and shortcomings are highlighted. Finally, a strategy that considers both the ergonomics experts' view and the practitioners' needs for developing a practical exposure assessment tool is then discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Ergonomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Observation / methods
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Posture*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Videotape Recording
  • Workload*