Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revolutionary Armrest Can Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries

Date:
June 29, 2007
Source:
University Of Guelph
Summary:
Engineers have designed an armrest that reduces repetitive strain injuries and has the potential to be used in almost anything with a seat, from heavy machinery to powered wheelchairs. Tests show the provisionally patented armrest reduces muscle activity in the neck by more than 60 per cent compared to typical armrests, said the researcher.

University of Guelph engineers have designed an armrest that reduces repetitive strain injuries and has the potential to be used in almost anything with a seat, from heavy machinery to powered wheelchairs.

Tests show the provisionally patented armrest reduces muscle activity in the neck by more than 60 per cent compared to typical armrests, said Prof. Michele Oliver, who has led the 10-year project.

While the armrest is about to be piloted in excavators, Oliver said the possibilities of the design extend far beyond heavy machinery.

“It’s simple, cheap and relatively robust, so its potential uses are broad,” said Oliver, who presented the idea of using the armrests on powered wheelchairs on Sunday at the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineers Conference.

Oliver’s initial focus was on designing an armrest for heavy-machinery operators because it’s a line of work with high rates of repetitive strain injuries, she said. A joystick operator’s limbs can go through 20,000 motions in a typical 10-hour workday. Only after completing the design did she realize the ergonomic armrest could revolutionize seat designs.

“Simple solutions are the most elegant, and this is a solution that will apply to any environment where a person is operating a control,” she said.

Using computer simulations, Oliver and graduate student Greg Northey found that the neck muscles never get a chance to rest when someone is operating a joystick

Oliver said stationary armrests don’t provide enough support for joystick users because the arm is left floating when it moves forward and the shoulder is forced to rise when the arm moves backwards.

With the research obtained from the computer simulations, graduate student Taylor Murphy designed a moveable armrest that mimics the natural motion of the arm during joystick operations. Oliver said the armrest moves with the arm vertically and horizontally, relieving the shoulder from constantly stabilizing the arm and preventing strain on the neck muscles.

“It’s the first-ever heavy equipment armrest that moves and turns with the arm,” said Oliver.

Oliver recently received an NSERC Idea to Innovation grant of $122,000 to help move the design from the laboratory to the commercial market. She is currently working with a Canadian seat manufacturer for heavy machinery with the goal of retrofitting existing machines with the armrests and including the design in the production of future seats.

These dynamic armrests could be implemented in hundreds of thousands of work environments as early as 2010, said Oliver.

“It costs a couple of hundred dollars to build the armrest, which is a small price to pay considering the amount companies could save in Workplace Safety Insurance Board premiums.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Guelph. "Revolutionary Armrest Can Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627140603.htm>.
University Of Guelph. (2007, June 29). Revolutionary Armrest Can Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627140603.htm
University Of Guelph. "Revolutionary Armrest Can Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627140603.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins