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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: BACKGROUND: To identify physical measures that predict maximal handgrip strength (MHGS) and provide evidence for identifying lack of sincerity of effort when assessing upper extremity weakness. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated anthropometric measurements associated with MHGS of healthy young adults. METHODS: A convenience sample of 150 healthy adults ages 19 to 34 years old completed the MHGS assessment, which was measured using a Jamar dynamometer according to the protocol of the American Society of Hand Therapists, for both dominant and non-dominant hands. Several anthropometric data were collected, which included height, body weight, forearm length, forearm circumference,…hand length, and hand width. RESULTS: Multivariable linear regression analysis indicated gender and hand width were uniquely and significantly associated with participants’ MHGS for dominant and non-dominant hand and accounted for more than 60% of the variance, with R2 = 0.60, P < 0.001 for the dominant hand model and R2 = 0.64, P < 0.001 for the non-dominant hand model. CONCLUSIONS: Among the forearm and hand anthropometric measures, hand width is the best predictor of MHGS in both the non-dominant and dominant hands for healthy young adults.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding the reliability and precision of the data obtained using three-dimensional body scanners is very important if it is intended to replace the traditional data collection methods. If the collection of anthropometric data with three-dimensional body scanners is a fast and reliable process that produces precise data at a low price, it could be used for numerous applications worldwide. Many studies have addressed data collected by white light and laser based scanners. OBJECTIVE: This study provides a comparative analysis between the anthropometric data collected using a Kinect body imaging system with the data collected using traditional…manual methods. Moreover, a comparison is also made between the results obtained in this study and the results of previous studies of different types of body scanners. METHODS: The Mean Absolute Difference was calculated and all the values were compared to the maximum allowable error defined in ISO 20685. Additionally, an analysis of the significant differences between the two acquisition methods was also applied to a physical mannequin, to understand how the body movement and body stance variation in human participants impacts the results obtained. RESULTS: There are few body measurements that are close to this restricted allowable error. The results were better when the mannequin was measured. Although they were still above the ISO 20685 limit, they were much closer than the results obtained for human participants. CONCLUSION: The main cause of the differences between the two methods is the time required for the 3D system to acquire the data. The involuntary body sway of human participants is more difficult to control when the time span is too long.
Keywords: Traditional anthropometry, 3D body scanners, Kinect, reliability, precision
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research supports a link between exercise and falls prevention in the older population. OBJECTIVES: Our aims were to evaluate pain perception and balance skills in a group of elderly subjects and to examine the consequences of a standardized equipment-free exercise program intervention on these variables. The study utilized a randomized controlled trial method. METHODS: 92 subjects were recruited from a rural Sicilian village (Resuttano, Sicily, Italy). Subjects were randomly split into two groups, an experimental group (EG; n = 49) and a control group (CG; n = 43). Qualified fitness instructors delivered the standardized physical exercise…program for the EG whilst the CG did not receive this exercise intervention. The Berg Balance Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index were administered in both groups before (T0) and after the intervention (T1). RESULTS: At T1, the EG group significantly improvement in balance (p < 0.0001) and pain perception (p < 0.0001). No significant differences were found within the CG both in BBS and ODI, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a 13-weeks standardized exercise equipment-free program is effective in improving balance and perception of pain in the elderly. This type of intervention can consequently provide a low cost strategy to counteract the rate of disability in elderly.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a need to better understand the perceived experiences of workers in green buildings as the literature to this point has been mixed. OBJECTIVES: To re-evaluate occupant experiences within a LEED platinum building and investigate current experiences in general. METHODS: An online post occupancy evaluation (POE) survey of 62 occupants of LEED Platinum building on a US college campus is reported. The online survey addressed indoor environmental quality in relation to health, productivity and satisfaction. RESULTS: Of the respondents, 38.7% had participated in a prior POE of this building in 2011…and results were compared for this subgroup, as well as for overall results. There was a significant increase in satisfaction with office workstations and air freshness as compared to 3 years earlier. However, there was also a significant increase in reported frequency of all physical symptoms. When looking just at the current POE results, control over features of the workstation had a significant relationship with most outcomes of interest. CONCLUSION: While improvements have been noted, issues continue to exist that have implications for health, productivity and satisfaction. The results of this study have implications for the ergonomic design of workstations and indoor environmental quality within LEED buildings.
Keywords: Green buildings, office ergonomics, indoor environmental conditions, occupant health and comfort
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The increase in air temperature has been associated with human deaths, some of which are related to cardiovascular dysfunctions, and with the reduction of physical and cognitive performance in humans. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) and the cognitive performance of students who were submitted to temperature changes in classrooms. METHODS: The university students answered a survey that was adapted from the Battery of Reasoning Tests over 3 consecutive days at different air temperatures while their thermal state and HR were measured. During those 3 days, BP…and HR were evaluated before and after the cognitive test. RESULTS: The average and final HR increased at high temperatures; the tests execution time was reduced at high temperatures; and the cognitive tests was related to Mean BP at the beginning of the test, the maximum HR during the test and the air temperature. CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive performance of undergraduate students in the field of engineering and technology will increase while performing activities in a learning environment with an air temperature of approximately 23.3°C (according to their thermal perception), if students have an initial MBP of 93.33 mmHg and a 60 bpm HRmax.
Keywords: Thermal comfort, thermoregulation, cognitive activity, productivity, cardiovascular system
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Exposure to violence in the mental health sector both affects employees and has implications for the quality of care provided. OBJECTIVE: This phenomenological study aims to describe and understand the ways in which acts of aggression from a patient might affect workers in a psychiatric institute, their relationships with the patients and the services offered. METHODS: Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the 15 participants from various professions within a psychiatric hospital. RESULTS: Our analysis reveals four themes: hypervigilance, caring, specific fear toward the aggressor and generalized fear of all…patients. A state of hypervigilance is found among all participants. An emphasis on caring is present among the majority and unfolds as a continuum, ranging from being highly caring to showing little or no caring. A feeling of fear is expressed and is influenced by the participant’s place on the caring continuum. Caring workers developed a specific fear of their aggressor, whereas those showing little or no caring developed a generalized fear of all patients. Following a violent event, caring participants maintained this outlook, whereas those demonstrating little to no caring were more inclined to disinvest from all patients. CONCLUSIONS: Hypervigilance and fear caused by experiences of violence impact the quality of care provided. Considerable interest should thus be paid to caring, which can influence fear and its effects.
Keywords: Agression, workplace, quality of care, phenomenology
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Computer works are associated with Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). There are several methods have been developed to assess computer work risk factor related to MSDs. OBJECTIVE: This review aims to give an overview of current techniques available for pen-and-paper-based observational methods in assessing ergonomic risk factors of computer work. METHODS: We searched an electronic database for materials from 1992 until 2015. The selected methods were focused on computer work, pen-and-paper observational methods, office risk factors and musculoskeletal disorders. This review was developed to assess the risk factors, reliability and validity of pen-and-paper observational method associated…with computer work. Two evaluators independently carried out this review. RESULTS: Seven observational methods used to assess exposure to office risk factor for work-related musculoskeletal disorders were identified. The risk factors involved in current techniques of pen and paper based observational tools were postures, office components, force and repetition. From the seven methods, only five methods had been tested for reliability. They were proven to be reliable and were rated as moderate to good. For the validity testing, from seven methods only four methods were tested and the results are moderate. CONCLUSION: Many observational tools already exist, but no single tool appears to cover all of the risk factors including working posture, office component, force, repetition and office environment at office workstations and computer work. Although the most important factor in developing tool is proper validation of exposure assessment techniques, the existing observational method did not test reliability and validity. Futhermore, this review could provide the researchers with ways on how to improve the pen-and-paper-based observational method for assessing ergonomic risk factors of computer work.
Keywords: Pen-and-paper-based, observational methods, ergonomic, risk factors, computer works
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The economic recession produced a rapid rise of unemployment rates that was more visible in Southern European countries. There is evidence that unemployment correlates highly with individuals’ poor life satisfaction. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the relationship between life satisfaction, household composition and socioeconomic deprivation in people facing unemployment during the economic recession. METHODS: A sample of 748 unemployed people from Lisbon (Portugal) completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Cantril’s ladder of life scale, and the latent and manifest benefits of work scale (LAMB). Multiple regression analyses were used to test the associations between life satisfaction and…all other variables. RESULTS: Partnered people report higher life satisfaction compared to singles. Financial deprivation and lack of structured time were the strongest factors negatively related to life satisfaction in both partnered and single people. Having children had a particular negative effect on the life satisfaction of partnered men; and living with an unemployed partner together with lack of social contact and high enforced activity had a negative effect on life satisfaction in partnered women. CONCLUSION: The heterogeneity of socioeconomic needs found by household composition bring practical policy implications for support actions targeting unemployed individuals in the unique context of economic recession.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Heavy backpacks have been associated with various postural changes and consequently musculoskeletal disorders. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the immediate responses of varying backpack loads on cranio-vertebral angle (CVA), sagittal shoulder angle (SSA) and trunk forward lean (TFL) of young adults between the ages of 18–25 years. METHODS: This was a 3×3 cross over randomized controlled study with repeated measures among a convenience sample of young adults (n = 30; 50% male, 50% female). Each participant in a standing posture was assessed at four different loads: no backpack, carrying backpack of 5%, 10%, and 15% of body…weight (BW). A sagittal photograph was taken of the area of the body corresponding to spinal angle during each of these test conditions to allow for later analysis of postural deviations. Comparisons of the mean deviations of the different postural angles from baseline and between test conditions were made using ANOVA at p ≤0.05. RESULTS: Generally, there was a trend toward a decrease in the CVA and TFL with increasing backpack loads. Specifically, a significant decrease was seen for TFL at10% and 15% BW loads when compared with no load condition. In contrast, the decrease in CVA was only significant between no load condition and 15% body weight load. The SSA remained unchanged with backpack weight within 15% BW. CONCLUSION: Whereas the SSA of young adults may not be upset by an acute loading with a backpack within 15% of body weight, a 15% BW backpack led to more forward posture of the head on the neck. In addition, backpack load as low as 10% BW is enough to cause an immediate forward lean of the trunk.