We investigated the effect of an alternative welding system designed to reduce exposure to extreme trunk flexion on measures of trunk inclination and muscle activity. Among 10 participants, data were collected while using conventional stud welding equipment and while using the alternate system. Paired t-tests were used to compare results between the two welding systems. Mean trunk inclination angle was reduced with the alternate system (34.4° versus 9.7°, p < 0.01). Percent time with trunk inclination angles greater than 60° was also reduced (40.0% versus 4.7%, p < 0.01). In general, the alternate system resulted in less desirable upper trapezius muscle activity levels. The alternate system appears to be effective in reducing exposure to extreme trunk flexion among stud welders. Continued development of the system should explore features designed to reduce shoulder forces and improve productivity.
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