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Understanding Grip Choice and Comfort Whilst Hoovering

Authors: S.R.Kamat, A.Yoxall, C.Craig, M.J.Carré, J.Rowson


The hand is one of the essential parts of the body for carrying out Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Individuals use their hands and fingers in everyday activities in the both the workplace and home. Hand-intensive tasks require diverse and sometimes extreme levels of exertion, depending on the action, movement or manipulation involved. The authors have undertaken several studies looking at grip choice and comfort. It is hoped that in providing improved understanding of discomfort during ADLs this will aid in the design of consumer products. Previous work by the authors outlined a methodology for calculating pain frequency and pain level for a range of tasks. From an online survey undertaken by the authors with regards manipulating objects during everyday tasks, tasks involving gripping were seen to produce the highest levels of pain and discomfort. Questioning of the participants showed that cleaning tasks were seen to be ADL's that produced the highest levels of discomfort, with women feeling higher levels of discomfort than men. This paper looks at the methodology for calculating pain frequency and pain level with particular regards to gripping activities. This methodology shows that activities such as mopping, sweeping and hoovering shows the highest numbers of pain frequency and pain level at 3112.5 frequency per month while the pain level per person doing this action was 0.78.The study then uses thin-film force sensors to analyze the force distribution in the hand whilst hoovering and compares this for differing grip styles and genders. Women were seen to have more of their hand under a higher pressure than men when undertaking hoovering. This suggests that women may feel greater discomfort than men since their hand is at a higher pressure more of the time.

Keywords: Pain, hovering, grip

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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