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A Review on Ergonomics in Agriculture. Part I: Manual Operations

Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (IBO), Centre of Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Charilaou-Thermi Rd, GR 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 1905; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10061905
Received: 15 February 2020 / Revised: 7 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies)
Background: Agriculture involves several harmful diseases. Among the non-fatal ones, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most prevalent, as they have reached epidemic proportions. The main aim of this investigation is to systematically review the major risk factors regarding MSDs as well as evaluate the existing ergonomic interventions. Methods: The search engines of Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and ScienceDirect were used to identify relevant articles during the last decade. The imposed exclusive criteria assured the accuracy and current progress in this field. Results: It was concluded that MSDs affect both developed and developing countries, thus justifying the existing global concern. Overall, the most commonly studied task was harvesting, followed by load carrying, pruning, planting, and other ordinary manual operations. Repetitive movements in awkward postures, such as stooping and kneeling; individual characteristics; as well as improper tool design were observed to contribute to the pathogenesis of MSDs. Furthermore, low back disorders were reported as the main disorder. Conclusions: The present ergonomic interventions seem to attenuate the MSDs to a great extent. However, international reprioritization of the safety and health measures is required in agriculture along with increase of the awareness of the risk factors related to MSDs. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomechanics; musculoskeletal disorders; risk factors; field operations biomechanics; musculoskeletal disorders; risk factors; field operations
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Benos, L.; Tsaopoulos, D.; Bochtis, D. A Review on Ergonomics in Agriculture. Part I: Manual Operations. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 1905.

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