The Strain Index: a proposed method to analyze jobs for risk of distal upper extremity disorders

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1995 May;56(5):443-58. doi: 10.1080/15428119591016863.


Based on existing knowledge and theory of the physiology, biomechanics, and epidemiology of distal upper extremity disorders, a semiquantitative job analysis methodology was developed. The methodology involves the measurement or estimation of six task variables (intensity of exertion, duration of exertion per cycle, efforts per minute, wrist posture, speed of exertion, and duration of task per day); assignment of an ordinal rating for each variable according to exposure data; then assignment of a multiplier value for each variable. The Strain Index is the product of these six multipliers. Preliminary testing suggests that the methodology accurately identifies jobs associated with distal upper extremity disorders versus jobs that are not; however, large-scale studies are needed to validate and update the proposed methodology.

MeSH terms

  • Hand* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Posture
  • Risk Factors
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology