sEMG Studies of Milking Activities in Two Different Working Conditions
Authors: Alessio Silvetti, Massimo Gismondi, Silvia Mari, Federico Forzano
Abstract: The increasing degree of specialization of the work involved in milk production due to the growing size of herds often leads to upper limb repetitive movements. Despite the adoption of automation processes, milk production is still an occupation that is susceptible to biomechanical overload. Muscle activity of the extensor pollicis brevis (EXT), flexor carpi radialis (FLEX), biceps brachii (BB) and deltoideus anterior (DA) was studied in five workers while they performed udder cleaning and tapping tasks both before and after an ergonomic intervention consisting in 1) reducing the working plane height by means of a carpet; 2) changing the plastic bottles used in tapping tasks regularly to prevent them from hardening. The mean activation and the time percentage over 10% of the maximal voluntary contraction were calculated. Both tasks induced a marked effort from the EXT and DA muscles, and a milder effort from the BB and FLEX muscles. The ergonomic intervention was followed by a downward trend in both parameters. Further data are currently being acquired on a larger sample of workers to verify whether these preliminary findings are supported more robust statistical analyses.
Keywords: sEMG, ergonomic, dairy parlor, upper limb repetitive movement
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