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Assessing trunk posture of assembly workers through wearable technology

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Kenna, Katherine
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Sprigle, Stephen
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Abstract
Many occupations involve frequent and repetitive tasks that require employees to perform non-neutral postures over a long period of time. Assembly workers in particular usually have only one task, during which they are repeating the same posture over and over again. Frequent awkward postures can cause lower back disorders such as chronic pain and back injury (Bernard, 1997), which are the number one cause of loss of work (“Ergonomics Checklist,”). There is an opportunity to quantify this behavior and alert employers and employees of improper and dangerous posture. Current solutions are environmental, inconsistent, or not detailed enough. The objective of this project was to design, fabricate, and evaluate a comfortable wearable device to accurately and reliably detect prolonged and repeated postures of assembly workers. This paper covers the design, testing methods, and evaluation of the data gathered in order to form the groundwork for a wearable posture monitoring system.
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