The effects of an ergonomic chinrest among professional violin players. A biomechanical investigation in a randomised crossover design

Stephanie Mann*, Henrik Baare Olsen, Helene M. Paarup, Karen Søgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This study aimed to compare violinists' upper body kinematics and muscle activity while playing with different supportive equipment: their usual chinrest (UC) or an ergonomic chinrest (EC), each mounted on the violin. Three-dimensional motion capture and electromyographic data were acquired from the upper body while 38 pain-free professional violinists performed an excerpt of a music piece. There were only minor differences between the two set-ups tested. The EC resulted in less left rotation of the head (3.3°), slightly more neck extension (1.3°) and less muscle activity (0.5–1.0 %MVE). However, the overall high static muscle activity (4–10 %MVE across all muscles) was maintained using EC. For both setups, the head posture was left-rotated >15°, ≤6° flexed and left-bent 90% of the time. The EC did not produce a substantial difference in biomechanical load. Instead, future studies may focus on aspects other than chinrest design to lower the static workload demands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104018
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume110
Number of pages16
ISSN0003-6870
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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