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Hum Factors. 1999 Jun;41(2):205-13.

The effects of complex wrist and forearm posture on wrist range of motion.

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Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA.


Previous research on wrist functionally has focused almost entirely on range of motion (ROM) in 2 or 3 isolated planes (flexion/extension, radial/ulnar deviation, and forearm pronation/supination), without investigating the potential effects of complex wrist/forearm posture on ROM. A quantitative analysis of these effects on wrist ROM was performed. ROM was measured in one plane using both a manual method and an electrogoniometer while the participant maintained a fixed, secondary wrist and forearm posture. The study revealed that combinations of wrist/forearm postures have significant effects on wrist ROM; the largest effects are those of wrist flexion/extension on radial deviation ROM. The study also found that, consistent with previous research, wrist deviation measurements obtained with an electrogoniometer were significantly different from those obtained manually. Biomechanical theories for the results obtained are discussed. This research could be used to enhance ergonomic evaluation techniques by providing a more accurate risk assessment of certain complex wrist postures, particularly those in which wrist flexion/extension is combined with radial deviation.

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