Kinematic and gaze behaviour differs between hyper and hypo-affordants completing manual materials handling tasks

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Walker, Kayla D.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge. Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a significant global health challenge, representing a substantial portion of lost work hours, reduced productivity, disability, injury, and pain across industries worldwide. Low back discomfort and disease is the most prevalent work-related musculoskeletal disorder. Low back disorders often result from the cumulative loading from repetitive bending, grasping, lifting, and carrying present in manual materials handling tasks. while much research has focused on safe and injurious manual materials handling behaviour, it may be useful to identify the perceptual strategies and outcomes that both couple with and precede manual materials handling actions, enabling the development of targeted interventions to modify those behaviours and reduce the risk of injury. This study investigates the differential impact of affordance perceptotype (hyper or hypo-affordant) and gaze behaviours on handling kinematics within ecologically relevant manual materials handling tasks. Specifically, this research aims to identify if differences exist in kinematic measures and visual attention strategies between affordance perceptotype sub-groups. The study used motion capture technology and vision tracking to quantify kinematics and gaze behaviour and examined two manual material handling tasks, with a static and dynamic target respectively. We predicted the hyper-affordant participants would identify with higher risk-taking behaviour plus demonstrate a limited visual attention strategy and injury-risk handling kinematics, with those behaviours connecting to an increased prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort. This research revealed that hyper-affordants did exhibit larger values for relevant handling kinematics plus different gaze behaviours, potentially increasing their risk of injury. The role of state and trait characteristics and gaze behaviour in occupational behaviour were not significantly associated to kinematic measures, task condition, or perceived affordance distance. This research contributes to the understanding that individual differences in perception then action may affect occupational behaviour and risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, thus emphasizing the value of considering perception when developing and delivering ergonomic interventions.
manual materials handling , gaze behaviour , kinematics , work related musculoskeletal disorders , occupational injuries , affordance , ergonomics