Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common form of occupational ill-health. Neck pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders experienced by computer workers. Wrong postural habits and non-compliance of the workstation to ergonomics guidelines are the leading causes of neck pain. These factors may also alter respiratory functions. Health and safety interventions can reduce neck pain and, more generally, the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders and reduce the consequent economic burden. In this work, a multi-parametric wearable system based on two fiber Bragg grating sensors is proposed for monitoring neck movements and breathing activity of computer workers. The sensing elements were positioned on the neck, in the frontal and sagittal planes, to monitor: (i) flexion-extension and axial rotation repetitions, and (ii) respiratory frequency. In this pilot study, five volunteers were enrolled and performed five repetitions of both flexion-extension and axial rotation, and ten breaths of both quite breathing and tachypnea. Results showed the good performances of the proposed system in monitoring the aforementioned parameters when compared to optical reference systems. The wearable system is able to well-match the trend in time of the neck movements (both flexion-extension and axial rotation) and to estimate mean and breath-by-breath respiratory frequency values with percentage errors ≤6.09% and ≤1.90%, during quiet breathing and tachypnea, respectively.

A multi-parametric wearable system to monitor neck movements and respiratory frequency of computer workers

Massari L.;Caponero M. A.;
2020

Abstract

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common form of occupational ill-health. Neck pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders experienced by computer workers. Wrong postural habits and non-compliance of the workstation to ergonomics guidelines are the leading causes of neck pain. These factors may also alter respiratory functions. Health and safety interventions can reduce neck pain and, more generally, the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders and reduce the consequent economic burden. In this work, a multi-parametric wearable system based on two fiber Bragg grating sensors is proposed for monitoring neck movements and breathing activity of computer workers. The sensing elements were positioned on the neck, in the frontal and sagittal planes, to monitor: (i) flexion-extension and axial rotation repetitions, and (ii) respiratory frequency. In this pilot study, five volunteers were enrolled and performed five repetitions of both flexion-extension and axial rotation, and ten breaths of both quite breathing and tachypnea. Results showed the good performances of the proposed system in monitoring the aforementioned parameters when compared to optical reference systems. The wearable system is able to well-match the trend in time of the neck movements (both flexion-extension and axial rotation) and to estimate mean and breath-by-breath respiratory frequency values with percentage errors ≤6.09% and ≤1.90%, during quiet breathing and tachypnea, respectively.
Breathing activity; Fiber Bragg gratings; Flexible sensors; Neck movements; Occupational health and safety interventions; Respiratory frequency; Wearable system
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/53317
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