Development of normative data for hand strength and anthropometric dimensions in a population of automotive workers Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: (1) To develop a normative data set for hand strength and anthropometric dimensions in automotive trim line workers. (2) To examine the relationship between trim line worker demographics and hand strength. BACKGROUND: Work tasks inherent in the automobile manufacturing industry such as forceful gripping and pinching, place physical demands upon the hands and fingers. This places workers at risk of developing a musculoskeletal injury. To reduce the risk of injury it is necessary to apply user strength data in the design phase of hand intensive tasks in order to create a fit between the person and the task. METHOD: Demographic variables, anthropometry and maximal grip and pinch strength were measured for one hundred and sixty-one trim line automotive workers. Their data were analyzed to examine the associations between the variables. RESULTS: Significant hand strength differences were found in relation to age, gender, hand dominance and anthropometry. The workers in this study had significantly lower strength values than previously used reference data. DISCUSSION: The disparity between the present study's strength data and that of Mathiowetz et al. [22] may be due to the different demographic pools from which the populations were drawn. A training effect appeared to exist in trim line workers which may have reduced the disparity in hand strength between the hands as the number of years worked on the line increased. CONCLUSION: Caution should be taken when applying international normative data sets to the design of hand tools/workstations, as global differences in hand strength are likely to exist.


publication date

  • April 16, 2007

published in