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Work. 2012;43(4):411-6. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-1482.

Ergonomic evaluation of pounding of rice with traditional tool.

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Department of Family Resource Management, Faculty of Home Science, Assam Agricultural University, Assam, India. ruplekha


Pounding of rice for the preparation of indigenous food items is a regular food processing activity in rural Assam. The traditional tool used by the rural women for pounding is called 'Dhenki'.


An attempt was made to assess physical fitness of participants, to determine physiological workload involved in pounding of rice with this traditional tool, and to ascertain muscular and postural stress involved in the activity.


Twenty subjects in the age of 21-45 years were purposively selected.


A stepstool technique was adopted for assessing physical fitness of the participants. Heart rate was recorded with Polar Heart Rate Monitor (Polar Sports Tester - PE 4000) and angle of deviation in lower lumber region was measured with Dual Inclinometer during the operation.


The average resting heart rate values of participants was 80 b.min(-1). Average working heart rate values in pounding activity was 118.18 b.min(-1) and average energy expenditure was 10.04 kJ/min. Physiological workload of pounding of rice on the basis of heart rate and Energy Expenditures was found to be 'Moderately Heavy'. Perceived exertion of participants in pounding activity (RPE) was rated 4.1 in 5 point scales.


Ergonomic interventions through redesigning of traditional tool will improve work performance and enhance productivity of farm women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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