What Is Occupational Biomechanics?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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Occupational biomechanics is the study of movement related to the act of performing occupational duties. Each job requires different physical demands, so the realm of occupational biomechanics is of a broad nature. For example, studying the motions a secretary makes on a daily basis would be different than those of a flute instructor. These studies are useful in the development of new knowledge that can help rid the workplace of troublesome aches and pains.

Many times people take for granted their ability to do work until it is somehow compromised. A writer, for example, arduously labors for grocery money without a care in the world. If this writer, one day, began to develop carpel tunnel syndrome, he or she may no longer make assumptions that he or she will be able work on a daily basis. Biomechanics is related here in that understanding occupational movements may help workers be more efficient, healthier, and happier in their everyday processes.

For instance, perhaps this writer was not utilizing all possible muscles while typing, or he or she may have been practicing poor posture during work. These both can act to make a worker less effective and content. Occupational biomechanics can help fix this.


Most scientific disciplines follow the scientific method as a means of acquiring new information. Occupational biomechanics is no exception. Professionals conducting research in occupational biomechanics start with a question. They then develop a method to test this question. The method will likely include experimental specifics involving volunteers or perhaps compensated participants.

Upon completion of the experimental trial, scientists collect and analyze a data set in different ways often with highly intelligent computer software. Scientists use the data set to draw conclusions about movement. This is how a seemingly unrelated aspect of working can be related to both biomechanics and the scientific method.

So, to help the writer, a researcher wants to help minimize the prevalence of carpel tunnel in the demographic. He or she may study film of these professionals conducting their work. This film may render a specific technique or movements that may be hypothesized as having to do with the development of this painful condition. The researcher then conducts an experiment to test this hypothesis, and eventually new light may be shed on the causes of this ailment, hence improving the working life of writers. This process, of course, is not writer specific as occupational biomechanics strives to improve the lives of all professionals in the working world.


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