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Application of factorial design in identification of posture determinant factors and workstation design

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Author(s): Choobineh A. | Hosseini M

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Factorial design | Workstation design | Weaving workstation

ABSTRACT
Background and Aim: There is a close relationship between working posture and workstation design so that the postural problems appear to be largely caused by improperly designed workstation. There can be no more fundamental aspect of occupational ergonomics than the concern with the design of the workstation. There is general agreement that health, well-being and productivity of workers are strongly dependent on the success of workstation design. In ergonomic design of workstation, different factors should be taken into consideration, above all posture determinant factors. Regarding this, factorial design is a very useful methodology for identifying posture determinant factors. By this methodology, workstation variables which affect working posture can be identified. Then, optimum values of these variables are determined for working posture improvement. By this means, workstation design guidelines can be developed. In this paper, which has been prepared with the aim of introducing factorial design in ergonomic studies, an example of factorial design application in developing workstation design guidelines for weaving operation is presented. Materials and Methods: In a factorial design of 3×3, nine sets of experimental conditions were tested. The nine sets of experimental conditions consisted of different combinations of seats and weaving heights. Thirty professional weavers participated in the experiments and performed their normal weaving task in 9 experimental sessions. The effects of weaving height and seat type on postural variables were tested by Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for Repeated Measures. Results: The results obtained in the nine settings were compared and the setting in which optimum working posture adapted was determined. Based on the results, weaving workstation guidelines were developed. Conclusion: It is believed that the recommended workstation improves working posture and results in reduced postural stress on weavers’ bodies and, consequently, reduced prevalence of MSDs symptoms.

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