Technical field measurements of muscular workload during stocking activities in supermarkets: cross-sectional study

Sebastian Venge Skovlund*, Rúni Bláfoss, Sebastian Skals, Markus Due Jakobsen, Lars Louis Andersen


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Multiple studies have reported high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among supermarket workers. Technical field measurements can provide important knowledge about ergonomic risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders in the physical working environment, but these measurements are lacking in the supermarket sector. Therefore, using wearable electromyography and synchronous video recording in 75 supermarket workers, this cross-sectional study measured muscular workload during stocking activities in six different types of general store departments and during the thirteen most common work tasks across five different supermarket chains. Our results showed that muscular workload varies, especially for the low-back muscles, across (1) supermarket chains, (2) departments, and (3) specific stocking activities. Highest workloads of the low-back and neck/shoulders were seen in the fruit and vegetables department and during heavy, two-handed lifts of parcels (especially without using technical aids). In conclusion, physical work demands during supermarket stocking activities differ between chains, departments, and work tasks. These results can be used by company representatives and work environment professionals to specifically address and organize the stocking procedures to reduce the muscular workload during supermarket stocking.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 18. jan. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful for the time and effort allocated to this study by the chain representatives, local store managers and supermarket workers as well as our collaborators from The Danish Chamber of Commerce. Likewise, we would like to thank the involved data managers for helping with proper and safe data management. This work was supported by a project grant from the Danish Working Environment Research Fund (grant number: 20175100870). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, processing and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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