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Hand-skin temperature and tracking performance

Authors Goonetilleke, Ravindra S. View this author's profile
Hoffmann, Errol R.
Issue Date 2009
Source International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics , v. 39, (4, Sp. Iss. SI), 2009, JUL, p. 590-595
Summary Even though manual tracking performance has been extensively investigated, there is little or no research related to the lower limit of temperature for unimpaired tracking performance. This Study sought to obtain temperature limits while investigating the effect of hand-skin temperature on manual tracking. Eighteen subjects participated in a within-subject design experiment. The hand-skin temperatures corresponded to bath temperatures of 10, 20 and 30 degrees C. Tracking performance was measured using the Drury [1971. Movements with lateral constraint. Ergonomics 14(2), 293-305] task of drawing between two continuous straight lines of length 200 mm and widths 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 and 4 mm. Performance measures were the time to draw the line and the number of errors as determined by the cross-over points of the drawn line with the printed lines. Both performance measures were consistent and showed significant effects (p<.05) of line spacing and hand-skin temperature. Performance with bath temperatures of 10 degrees C was significantly worse than that with bath temperatures of 20 and 30 degrees C. Relevance to Industry: Workers are exposed to cold temperatures in numerous ways. Even though personal protective equipment can be used to minimize cold exposure, in tasks such as hand/arm tracking, performance decrements can be quite significant when wearing gloves or other protective equipment. Hence, it is important to identify the cold-limiting temperatures and task characteristics beyond which identifiable decrements of performance exist so that appropriate tasks can be designed for individuals, depending on the existing temperatures. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0169-8141
Rights International journal of industrial ergonomics © copyright 2009 Elsevier. The Journal's web site is located at
Language English
Format Article
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