The socio-economic interest in occupational health has never been bigger. Very few individuals go through life without experiencing some kind of occupational injury ranging from mild and temporary back pain to permanent disability. Many of these injuries are in the musculoskeletal system and can be traced back to the working environment, but while insurance premiums are exploding along with worker's compensations, we remain in doubt of the precise causes of many of the conditions, and interventions are very often prescribed without much firm knowledge of their effects.

Musculoskeletal modeling is the ideal tool for these situations because it allows for a quantitative comparison between different working situations and can assess the consequences of prospective interventions.

Workplace design

Workplaces with elements of materials handling or lifting are among those with the highest propensity for injury in back, shoulders and arms. The overall explanation is that any repetitive work task that degenerates tissue faster than it can be repaired will eventually traumatize the human body. Our muscles typically have much smaller moment arms than the exterior loads, and therefore small differences in the working postures or loading parameters can cause large differences in the tissue loads.

The AnyBody Modeling System allows for detailed analysis of a particular work task and for assessment of the consequences of a change in the workplace design. How will the sideways movement of a handled material influence the joint forces, and is this likely to influence the shoulder pain the worker is experiencing?

The mechanics of the human body is far to intricate to allow for a precise answer to this type of question without the type of rigorous mechanical model provided by the AnyBody Modeling System.

Sideways Rotation Model

Animation of a lift of a box from a platform over an obstacle and subsequent sideways rotation. This is a temporary model that still requires adjustment of boundary conditions.