Journal of Human Ergology
Online ISSN : 1884-3964
Print ISSN : 0300-8134
ISSN-L : 0300-8134
Originals
ASSESSMENT OF WORKING POSTURES BY THE OVAKO WORKING POSTURE ANALYSIS SYSTEM (OWAS) AMONG VEGETABLE CULTIVATORS OF WEST BENGAL, INDIA
JAGANNATH GHOSHSANTI GOPAL MAITYSUBHASHIS SAHUPRATITI GHOSH
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2021 Volume 50 Issue 2 Pages 51-58

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Abstract

Agricultural work is one of the manual materials-handling work tasks in developing countries. The cultivators toil for prolonged periods of time in the open fields without proper work-rest cycles. The vegetable cultivators work in awkward postures (squatting, bending and twisting) along with a high amount of repetitiveness. This could lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) in the lower back, upper back, shoulders, neck and knee joints. This study thus aims at studying the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among the vegetable cultivators of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. A cross-sectional study on 171 male vegetable cultivators was conducted using a Modified Nordic Questionnaire. The Ovako Working Posture Analysis System (OWAS) was applied and activity analysis was also performed. Data were statistically analyzed with t-tests and chi-square tests wherever appropriate. High prevalence of MSD was observed among the cultivators where the back (81.28%) and upper extremities (57.89%) were mostly affected. Postural analyses indicated that the cultivators adopted different stressful postures for prolonged periods. As observed, the majority of the subjects suffered from at least one disability due to MSD, hinting at reduced work performance. Ergonomic interventions including alternate postures, work-rest schedules and changes in body movements are required to reduce the prevalent health risks.

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© 2021 Human Ergology Society
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