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Development of Human Posture Simulation Method for Assessing Posture Angles and Spinal Loads

Authors

  • Ming-Lun Lu,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Taft Laboratories, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    • Correspondence to: Ming-Lun Lu, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway MS C-24, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Phone: 513-533-8158; e-mail: mlu@cdc.gov

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  • Thomas Waters,

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Taft Laboratories, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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  • Dwight Werren

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Taft Laboratories, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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Abstract

Video-based posture analysis employing a biomechanical model is gaining a growing popularity for ergonomic assessments. A human posture simulation method of estimating multiple body postural angles and spinal loads from a video record was developed to expedite ergonomic assessments. The method was evaluated by a repeated measures study design with three trunk flexion levels, two lift asymmetry levels, three viewing angles, and three trial repetitions as experimental factors. The study comprised two phases evaluating the accuracy of simulating self- and other people's lifting posture via a proxy of a computer-generated humanoid. The mean values of the accuracy of simulating self- and humanoid postures were 12° and 15°, respectively. The repeatability of the method for the same lifting condition was excellent (∼2°). The least simulation error was associated with side viewing angle. The estimated back compressive force and moment, calculated by a three-dimensional biomechanical model, exhibited a range of 5% underestimation. The posture simulation method enables researchers to quantify simultaneously body posture angles and spinal loading variables with accuracy and precision comparable to on-screen posture-matching methods.

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