Shoulder girdle muscle activity and fatigue in traditional and improved design carpet weaving workstations
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Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran (Department of Occupational Health and Ergonomics, Faculty of Health)
Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran (Department of Biostatics, Faculty of Health)
Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Department of Rehabilitation Basic Sciences, School of Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Research Center)
Corresponding author
Narges Mortazavi   

Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Department of Occupational Health and Ergonomics, Faculty of Health, Sero Road, P.O. Box 57135-163, Nazlu, Urmia, Iran
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(2):345-54
Objectives: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the neck and shoulder regions are common among carpet weavers. Working for prolonged hours in a static and awkward posture could result in an increased muscle activity and may lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Ergonomic workstation improvements can reduce muscle fatigue and the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Material and Methods: The aim of this study is to assess and to compare upper trapezius and middle deltoid muscle activity in 2 traditional and improved design carpet weaving workstations. These 2 workstations were simulated in a laboratory and 12 women carpet weavers worked for 3 h. Electromyography (EMG) signals were recorded during work in bilateral upper trapezius and bilateral middle deltoid. The root mean square (RMS) and median frequency (MF) values were calculated and used to assess muscle load and fatigue. Repeated measure ANOVA was performed to assess the effect of independent variables on muscular activity and fatigue. The participants were asked to report shoulder region fatigue on the Borg’s Category-Ratio scale (Borg CR-10). Results: Root mean square values in workstation A are significantly higher than in workstation B. Furthermore, EMG amplitude was higher in bilateral trapezius than in bilateral deltoid. However, muscle fatigue was not observed in any of the workstations. Conclusions: The results of the study revealed that muscle load in a traditional workstation was high, but fatigue was not observed. Further studies investigating other muscles involved in carpet weaving tasks are recommended.
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