Muscular and kinematic adaptations to fatiguing repetitive upper extremity work
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Repetitive work is common in the modern workplace and the effects are often studied using fatigue protocols; however, there is evidence that the manner in which fatigue develops impacts the kinematic and muscular response to reduced physical capacity. The purpose of this study was to simultaneously evaluate muscular and kinematic adaptations during fatiguing, repetitive work until exhaustion. We measured muscle activity in 13 muscles in the shoulder and trunk, and captured full body kinematics while participants completed simulated, repetitive work tasks. Every 12 min, reference data were collected to quantify fatigue. This sequence continued until they reached the termination criteria. Participants displayed significant signs of muscle fatigue, loss of strength and increased perceived fatigue (p < 0.05). Analysis revealed a significant effect of time on posture and muscle activity that was both task and time dependent, and variable both between and within individuals. Participants were able to compensate for reduced physical capacity and maintain task performance through coordinated compensation strategies.
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