The purpose of this study was to describe, and analyse the effect of an intervention on, the biomechanical workload in the neck and shoulder region of female hairdressers. Arm elevation was measured by inclinometers and muscular load of m. trapezius by electromyography. The intervention comprised working technique recommendations, e.g. to work with less elevated arms and more relaxed muscles. The subjects were randomised between two different intensity levels of the intervention, one with written information only and the other with additional personal follow-up. The effect of the intervention was evaluated after 1–2 months. The hairdressers worked with their arms elevated 60° or more for approximately 13% of the total working time and 16% during the specific hairdressing tasks. The intervention group including personal follow-up instructions had a reduction in workload from 4.0% to 2.5% of hairdressing time with highly elevated right upper arm, i.e. above 90°. No effect was detected on muscular load or neck and shoulder symptoms after the intervention.

Veiersted, KB; Veiersted, Kaj Bo; Gould, Kristian; Østerås, Nina; Hansson, Gert-Åke
Applied Ergonomics 39(2): 183–190
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