How to measure physical demands of work with personal computer using thermography - novel approaches



Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Proceedings of the 11th International Conference opn Kinanthropology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Keywords hand - methods - thermography - workload
Description Purpose: In medicine and affiliate scientific disciplines we have gotten used to many diagnostic tools measuring or displaying mostly structural changes (X-ray, ultrasound, CT etc.). It´s pity, that even when we have a tool displaying functional changes, thermography, we are still after some decades not able to use it properly. Despite the fact personal computers are used to “make work easier” for about thirty years, there is still not much scientific work done on this topic. Especially not on the field of thermography where we could use this not really young method to enhance our knowledge of how hard the work with personal computer really is and what are dynamics of this workload. This paper presents a comparison between the methods used over the last twenty years for studying the thermal changes in hands while the subject is working on a personal computer and Horacek’s newly developed method. In doing so, it sets up the best-known methodology for the next few years in which anticipated “bigger research” should be done. All of this is done in a real environment where office workers are doing their job - at their workplace. Methods: In this study, ten office workers were studied using a thermographic camera, and then the results of two methodologies were compared. Another two methodologies already used to describe thermal changes in hands were also considered. Results: The results showed us similarities at 84% with the already used methodology developed by Gold, but 75% higher sensitivity with a mean difference of 1.6 gr. C. Conclusions: It was found that Horacek’s methodology, when compared to Gold’s methodology, has not only comparable specificity but even higher sensitivity. This method is also easier and faster. Thus, taking into account the lack of current scientific knowledge, it is probably appropriate method for observing thermal changes in hands. These results encourage us to carry on next researches which are desperately needed.
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