Continuous Measurement of Worker’s Physiological and Biomechanical Information in the Greenhouse
Workers in the agriculture industry are exposed to a lot of recognized risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The objective of this study was to develop a system to measure physiological and biomechanical signals of agricultural workers in the greenhouse. Changes in physiological (body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and heart rate variability(HRV)) and biomechanical signals for stress analysis were investigated in the greenhouse work of cherry tomato harvesting. The system created in this study to measure these data produced the following results: (1) body temperatures continuously increased during the task time, and these increases were significantly higher when the laborer worked in squatting posture, indicating that this work was an agricultur-al task of high intensity; (2) breath rate significantly increased when the laborer worked in this high-intensity squatting post-ure; (3) the average heart rate was low during most greenhouse tasks, but significantly increased when the laborer worked in the high-intensity squatting posture; (4) physical activity for energy expenditure was the highest when the work involved wrist movement; (5) biomechanical load on the L5/ S1 disk was lower than the load limit in the task of manual lifting performed in the greenhouse. The joint reaction force on the L5/S1 disk in the squat posture was significantly lower than the standing and stooping postures. (6) The stress index, measured by the heart rate variability, increased parasympathetic activation up to about 70 while workers were doing most agricultural work in this study. This study provides a means to measure the quantitative data of physiological change, kinematics and kinetic factors without any restrictions of space.
KeywordsPhysiological signals Physical activity Biomechanical loads Stress index Greenhouse work
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