Physical workload on neck and upper limb using two CAD applications.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim was to evaluate (1) the physical workload on neck and upper limb in computer-aided design (CAD) work; (2) the impact of two applications (PROFESSIONAL-CADAM and PRO/Engineering) and (3) two input devices (computer mouse and keyboard), as well as (4) sitting and standing work positions. Fifteen CAD operators were interviewed and examined physically. For nine subjects, the physical workload was measured: electromyography (EMG) of trapezius and forearm extensor muscles, inclinometry of the head, the upper back and upper arms, as well as wrist goniometry. The muscular load was low in CAD work, but the inter-individual variation was considerable. Neither the positions were extreme, nor the movements. The applications, per se, did not have a large impact on the workload, but because of the need for different input devices the effect was strong. Using a keyboard meant higher angular velocities than using a mouse. Hence, when choosing a new software, which requires mainly a mouse as input device, this has to be balanced against the risk of disorders.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • Biomechanics, Comparative Study, *Computer-Aided Design/instrumentation, Human, Male, Middle Age, Musculoskeletal Diseases/*etiology, *Neck, Physical Examination, Occupational Diseases/*etiology, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, Nonparametric, Statistics, Software, Risk Factors, Posture, Adult, *Arm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Physiotherapy (Closed 2012) (013042000), Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (013078001)