Matching Items (3)
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
- Resource Type: Text
Construction work is ergonomically hazardous, as it requires numerous awkward postures, heavy lifting and other forceful exertions. Prolonged repetition and overexertion have a cumulative effect on workers often resulting in work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The United States spends approximately $850 billion a year on WMSDs. Mechanical installation workers experience serious overexertion injuries at rates exceeding the national average for all industries and all construction workers, and second only to laborers. The main contributing factors of WMSDs are ergonomic loads and extreme stresses due to incorrect postures. The motivation for this study is to reduce the WMSDs among mechanical system (HVAC system) installation workers. To achieve this goal, it is critical to reduce the ergonomic loads and extreme postures of these installers. This study has the following specific aims: (1) To measure the ergonomic loads on specific body regions (shoulders, back, neck, and legs) for different HVAC installation activities; and (2) To investigate how different activity parameters (material characteristics, equipment, workers, etc.) affect the severity and duration of ergonomic demands. The study focuses on the following activities: (1) layout, (2) ground assembly of ductwork, and (3) installation of duct and equipment at ceiling height using different methods. The researcher observed and analyzed 15 HVAC installation activities among three Arizona mechanical contractors. Ergonomic analysis of the activities using a postural guide developed from RULA and REBA methods was performed. The simultaneous analysis of the production tasks and the ergonomic loads identified the tasks with the highest postural loads for different body regions and the influence of the different work variables on extreme body postures. Based on this analysis the results support recommendations to mitigate long duration activities and exposure to extreme postures. These recommendations can potentially reduce risk, improve productivity and lower injury costs in the long term.
For this project, I analyzed both the amount of overuse injuries or repetitive stress injuries occurring in college baseball and tried to understand why they were happening so frequently. I interviewed over a dozen people to get thoughts and messages on the subject from a variety of people from current college players, to Major League players, to current college coaches. While I spent the majority of the project working on the research and interviews of how these injuries effect college athletes, I always spent time speaking with journalists about the proper ways they go about reporting on injuries, especially those within college athletes. I found data that showed that the average rate of fastballs in Major League Baseball is going up and that is indirectly affecting the way in which players and specifically pitchers are learning to play as they go through college baseball. I got valuable perspective on how the game changing is affecting the injuries that are so common today. The most common occurring repetitive stress issue in baseball has been happening most with pitchers so much of the project is tailored toward the views of some of the best pitchers in college baseball. I found out how college pitchers are taking care of their bodies and using the offseason to help regain strength. Why do some pitchers not take as long an offseason as others? How intense is the pressure to stay healthy in college, as many of these athletes are pursuing professional baseball? What is the mental toll these student-athletes have on a day-to-day basis? All these questions and more are answered in the paper. Included in the long-form paper are all of the full transcripts from the interviews with players, coaches, trainers, doctors, and reporters.
The Changing Landscape of Youth Sports: An Exploration of Youth Athlete's Perceptions and Experiences of Club Sport
Youth club sport has become a dominant part of society and the forefront of many childhoods. Youth sport participation holds various physical, psychological, and social benefits for children but as this industry continues to expand, when poorly managed, sport participation can become detrimental (Meân, 2013, p. 339). In this study the experiences and perceptions of female youth club volleyball players (ages 15-17) were explored through semi-structured interviews with a particular focus on key areas of concern identified in the research literature: early specialization, overuse injury, and burnout (Hedstrom & Gould, 2004, p. 4, 15-37). A thematic analysis was used to explore these a priori themes alongside emergent themes that were identified: early motivation and perception, current motivation and perception, pressure and athletic scholarships, perception of high school volleyball, and schedules. The positive perceptions arising from the themes were addressed as a foundation to improve on the negative perceptions. Recommendations to reduce the pressure and stress associated with winning are made, in addition to proposals regarding the schedule of club volleyball in an effort to provide athletes with adequate rest period in order to reduce risks of burnout and overuse injury.
Keywords: youth sport, specialization, overuse injury, burnout, club volleyball.