Obesity effect on perceived postural stress during static posture maintenance tasks

Woojin Park, Devender P. Singh, Martin S. Levy, Eui Seung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Postural stresses related to manual work tasks may be significantly affected by the bodily condition of workers. One such condition is obesity, which is characterised by excess fat mass in the body. This study empirically examined the obesity effect on postural stress during static posture maintenance tasks. In total, 20 obese and 20 nonobese participants performed static box-holding for a set of 84 working postures defined based on the Ovako Working Posture Analysing System. The participants reported postural stresses using the rated perceived exertion scale. Obesity was found to significantly increase postural stress across the 84 working postures and, also, amplify the effects of postural changes on postural stress. The study findings suggest that ergonomic workplace/job design for obese workers would be a challenge requiring a proactive approach and creativity in problem solving. In addition, the use of ergonomic knowledge in design would be more critical when targeting obese than non-obese workers. The study findings are relevant to ergonomic workplace/job design for obese workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1182
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 1



  • Ovako Working Posture Analysing System
  • Postural stress
  • Rated perceived exertion
  • Workplace design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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