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Motion analysis technologies for a safer and more efficient industry

07 December 2022
Article by Nilza Ramião, responsible for projects in the area of biomechanics and health at INEGI, and Joana Guedes, researcher at LAETA

The relevant risk of injuries in the occupational environment and the chronic shortage of labor force many companies in the industrial sector to look for innovative solutions to guarantee the health and well-being of employees and, consequently, reduce absenteeism and maintain high levels of work. productivity.

Alongside this, work spaces are considered by the World Health Organization as one of the priority places for the development of health promotion actions, namely within the scope of work practices and healthy lifestyles.

Biomechanics, as an interdisciplinary area of knowledge that uses physics and mathematics to model biological processes, has, therefore, gained special relevance by allowing a rational and quantified approach to the various contexts of human activity. In the occupational area, biomechanics has contributed to improving the definition of jobs and standardizing good practices that contribute to reducing the risk of injury and illness.

Industrial safety engineering is vital for a resilient industry, both with regard to the well-being of its workers in the workplace, but also at the product engineering level, in line with the exponential increase in usability and resource requirements customization and reconfiguration.

Biomechanics and new technologies respond to industrial challenges

In order to respond to the challenges of the sports, business and clinical sectors, INEGI's team also works with motion capture tools that make it possible to analyze jobs and contribute to the prevention of occupational injuries and to the joint development of new industrial solutions.

INEGI has developed solid and impactful R&I work in this area. The activity focuses mainly on assessing the human physiological response to extreme weather situations and high levels of physical activity and emotional stress. Some of the most relevant studies were carried out in collaboration with the Portuguese Army, and more recently, with the Fire Fighting Authorities.

It now takes a new step by transforming motion capture technologies into support tools for the creation of engineering solutions for the industry. The understanding of the biomechanical factors that affect the worker in the workplace paves the way for the creation of work environments in which the professional is able to perform his function at the best level and with maximum comfort.

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