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Ergonomics/RSI and the Dose Response relationshipViews: 843
Sep 24, 2007 2:53 pmErgonomics/RSI and the Dose Response relationship#

Nicole Matoushek
Dose-Response Relationship
The dose-response relationship refers to the specific outcome following an exposure to a specific agent or factor. The outcome resulting from the exposure to ergonomic risk factors refers to any adverse health effect, and may range from acute injury to long-term disease and loss of function. In general, a higher frequency and longer duration of exposure to single agent or risk factor, is found to be positively correlated with the development of a particular outcome. This relationship is true also with ergonomic factors. Hence, prolonged or repeated exposure to an ergonomic risk factor increases the likelihood of developing a musculoskeletal injury or CTD.

An exact dose-response relationship of ergonomic factors has not yet been established. However, the more risk factors that are present, the higher the level of risk is for developing consequent injury. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, it is possible that the interaction between various risk factors has a multiplicative effect instead of an additive. The multiplicative effect, in effect significantly increases the likelihood of disease development with multiple risk factor interaction. Having more than one risk factor present significantly increases the probability of incurring micro-trauma. On the other hand, if the identified risk level is low or there appears a sufficient provision of rest or recovery time, the actual risk may be minimal. Most importantly, reducing the amount of risk factors present will reduce the occurrence of CTDs.

Nicole Matoushek MPH, PT, CEES, CSHE, CEAS
http://www.ergorehabinc.com


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