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August 21, 2014

New NIOSH Report Helps You Assess Posture to Prevent MSDs

Observation-Based Posture AssessmentNIOSH has released a new report that can help occupational safety and health practitioners conduct improved posture assessments in the workplace - which can help prevent and control occupational musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Observation-Based Posture Assessment: Review of Current Practice and Recommendations for Improvement describes a research-based approach for assessing torso and arm posture; discusses enhancements including digital video, computer software, training, and the use of visual cues; and provides general guidelines for video recording and analysis of workers' posture. The report is a joint effort between NIOSH and the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders.

The report includes tips for recording and analyzing posture:
  • Record the task from multiple views and encourage the worker to avoid loose-fitting clothing.
  • If possible, shoot one of the views perpendicular to the plane of the joint movement.
  • Zoom in on limb segments so the joint of interest is as large as possible on the screen.

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