Ergonomic Evaluation of Agriculture-Related Activities Performed by Ecuadorian Indigenous Women
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Most of the agricultural activities in Ecuador are carried out by indigenous communities. Most of the elderly women from these communities suffer moderate to severe spinal deformities; previous studies suggest that one factor that could affect their back health is the lifting of heavy loads. The aim is to calculate the low back compression force using commercial software. Tasks consisting of lifting a sack by two methods were recorded in a gait laboratory. Although it is common for indigenous women to handle loads up to 45 kg, they were limited to 15 kg to reduce injuries risk. The input data to the software included gender, mass and height, and forces acting on hands, back and one shoulder. Measured and extrapolated results show that the low back compression force is significantly higher than the NIOSH recommended limits.
KeywordsLow back compression force Indigenous Lifting Agriculture Work-related injuries
This work is being funded by (1) Dirección de Investigación y Desarrollo (DIDE), of Universidad Técnica de Ambato under the project: “Influence of the traditional use of chumbi in musculoskeletal disorders associated with the manipulation of loads in women of the Ecuadorian highlands” and (2) Corporación Ecuatoriana para el Desarrollo de la Investigación y la Academia (CEDIA) under the project: CEPRA XIII-2019-14, Llankak Warmikunata Kamachikkuna (Protect the working woman).
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