Repetitive arm movement and force exertion are common in meat cutting tasks and often lead to musculosketal disorders. In this study, the effects of the workbench height and the cutting direction on the levels of muscular activation of the upper extremity during meat cutting tasks were investigated. Seven subjects performed 4 trials of 20s each at the 4 different heights (0 cm, −10 cm, −20 cm and −30 cm below the elbow height), alternating two cutting directions. Activation levels of upper extremity muscles (biceps brachii, triceps long head, deltoideus anterior, deltoideus medialis and upper trapezius) and cutting forces were recorded synchronously. Then the trends of the normalized activations with regard to the workplace design parameters (table height and cutting direction) were computed. Results showed that the optimal configuration is a partially related to the task, whereas motor control strategies have also an influence on it. The present results provide new key information about the effects of workbench heights during a repetitive meat cutting task and a complete assessment protocol to analyse workstation design parameters influence on muscles activation levels.

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