Wrist motions in industry

Ergonomics. 1993 Apr;36(4):341-51. doi: 10.1080/00140139308967891.


Cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) are disorders of the body's tendons and nerves due to repeated exertions and excessive movements. Workers in industrial tasks who have to move their hands and wrists repeatedly and/or forcefully are susceptible to CTDs. One of the major research voids in the study of occupational wrist CTDs is the lack of quantification of the relationship between the known kinematic risk factors, such as wrist angle and repetition, and CTD risk. A quantitative surveillance study was performed in industry in which workers' three-dimensional wrist motions were monitored on the factory floor. A total of 40 subjects from eight industrial plants participated in this study (20 workers in each of two risk groups, low and high). The wrist motion parameters that were monitored for each subject were position, angular velocity, and angular acceleration measures in each plane of movement (radial/ulnar, flexion/extension, and pronation/supination). Descriptive analyses of these measures indicated that generally the mean of the high-risk subjects was larger in magnitude than that of their low-risk counterparts. However, only the velocity and acceleration parameters resulted in significant differences between low- and high-risk groups. These results demonstrate the importance of dynamic components in assessing CTD risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Wrist Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Wrist Injuries / prevention & control
  • Wrist Joint / physiopathology