Skip to main content

Biomechanical Digital Human Models: Chances and Challenges to Expand Ergonomic Evaluation

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Human Systems Engineering and Design (IHSED 2018)


Nowadays, ergonomic evaluation of work can be done using Digital Human Models (DHM). One advantage is to reduce the need for corrective measures by supporting a more prospective ergonomic work design. Although ergonomic models provide useful information for risk assessment, single working tasks with minor changes in work place design are difficult to evaluate. Instead, biomechanical models can analyze single movements or body postures, taking internal forces in muscles and joints into account. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to establish an interface between a biomechanical human model (AnyBody) and the “Editor for manual work activities” (ema) to enrich ergonomic evaluation with biomechanical parameters. First results demonstrate that the automatically generated movements of ema showed some specific deviations relative to the subjects’ movements in experimental conditions. Optimization of kinematic data in AnyBody is necessary to ensure more physiological movements which are highly valuable for ergonomic evaluation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Chaffin, D.B., Andersson, G.B.J., Marting, B.J.: Occupational Biomechanics. Wiley, New Jersey (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Damsgaard, M., Rasmussen, J., Christensen, S.T., Surma, E., de Zee, M.: Analysis of musculoskeletal systems in the anybody modeling system. Simul. Model. Pract. Theory 14, 1100–1111 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Delp, S.L., Anderson, F.C., Arnold, A.S., Loan, P., Habib, A., John, C.T., Guendelman, E., Thelen, D.G.: OpenSim: open-source software to create and analyze dynamic simulations of movement. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 54, 1940–1950 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Fritzsche, L., Jendrusch, R., Leidholdt, W., Bauer, S., Jäckel, T., Pirger, A.: Introducing ema (editor for manual work activities) – a new tool for enhancing accuracy and efficiency of human simulations in digital production. In: International Conference on Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Heath, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management, pp. 272–281. Springer, Orlando (2011)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  5. Grujicic, M., Pandurangan, B., Arakere, G., Bell, W.C., He, T., Xie, X.: Seat cushion and soft-tissue material modelling and a finite element investigation of the seating comfort for passenger-vehicle occupants. Mater. Des. 30, 4273–4285 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. International Organization for Standardization ISO 11228-1:2003. Lifting and carrying

    Google Scholar 

  7. Knudson, D.: Fundamentals of Biomechanics. Springer, Chico (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Paul, G., Lee, W.C.: Interfacing jack and anybody: towards anthropometric musculoskeletal digital human modeling. In: 1st international Symposium on Digital Human Modelling, Lyon (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ulherr, A., Zeller, F., Bengler, K.: Simulation seat discomfort: an experimental design for using digital human models. In: International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics 2017, pp. 354–365. Springer, California (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Wolf, A., Wartzack, S.: Parametric movement synthesis: towards virtual optimisation of man-machine interaction in engineering design. In: 15th International Design Conference, pp. 941–952. Design Society, Dubrovnik (2018)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a decision by the German Parliament (Funding no. ZF4263601BZ6).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Markus Peters .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Peters, M. et al. (2019). Biomechanical Digital Human Models: Chances and Challenges to Expand Ergonomic Evaluation. In: Ahram, T., Karwowski, W., Taiar, R. (eds) Human Systems Engineering and Design. IHSED 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 876. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics