High physical work demands increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and sickness absence. Supermarket work involves a high amount of manual material handling. Identifying specific ergonomic risk factors is an important part of occupational health and safety efforts in the supermarket sector. In this cross-sectional field study among 64 supermarket workers, we used electromyography during the workday to determine the influence of lifting height and load mass on muscular workload of the low-back and neck/shoulder muscles during un-restricted manual material handling (grocery stocking). We found a significant effect of load mass, i.e., higher loads associated with higher muscular workload in the low-back and neck/shoulder muscles. We demonstrated a significant interaction between start and end position, i.e., lifts performed from ‘Low’ start positions to ‘High’ end positions demonstrated the highest low-back muscular workload, whereas ‘High’ positions were associated with increased neck/shoulder workload. In conclusion, lifting higher loads and lifting goods from low to high positions (low-back) and at high positions (neck/shoulder) are associated with higher muscular workload. These results can be used to guide highly warranted preventive initiatives to reduce the physical workload during supermarket work.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 4. Mar 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Grocery stores
- Manual material handling
- Musculoskeletal diseases
- Retail industry