Physical activity is known to benefit health while muscle activation and movements performed during occupational work in contrast may result in work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Therefore, we posed the research question: which mode of muscle activation may result in a reversal of work-related disorders? To address this, we performed electromyographic (EMG) and kinematic assessments of workers with diverse exposure categories: sedentary monotonous work, prolonged walking/standing, and physically heavy work. The various job-specific exposure variables could be categorized in terms of duration, intensity, repetition, static component, peak force etc. that were subsequently identified as risk factors. Based on sports science principles we developed tailored exercise programs to counteract job exposure. EMG activity during exercise training was monitored to identify principal differences between exercise training and job patterns. Evidence from more than 20 RCT studies including >4000 workers showed positive effects such as decreased muscle pain and increased workability. Finally, we identified plausible underlying mechanisms in muscle tissue – human and animal - that confirmed metabolic, morphological, and hormonal changes with e.g. repetitive work that were reversal to adaptations reported with exercise training. Progress has been made in developing intelligent physical exercise training, IPET, as the best complementary activity to job exposure and includes muscle activations and movements that limit work-related inactivity atrophy as well as overload injury.
Bibliografisk notePublisher Copyright: