Development and Evaluation of Interventions for Farm Machinery Operators to Improve Musculoskeletal and Cognitive Health

Producers and farm workers are exposed to whole-body vibration (WBV) on a regular basis when operating farm machinery. The short-term effect of WBV include cognitive impairment and musculoskeletal disorders, such as low back pain. To aid in promoting worker cognitive and musculoskeletal health, rest and/or activity breaks may provide relief from these hazards and can be implemented immediately without cash investment. For these breaks to be appealing, they must be effective in reducing adverse health effects from WBV exposure, and must be feasible for field implementation. This multidisciplinary project will develop, test, and evaluate effective activity break interventions for agricultural equipment operators in order to mitigate adverse cognitive and musculoskeletal health effects during prolonged WBV. Worker participation and engagement will be incorporated throughout this project, to advise in developing best practices for field testing implementation. Outcomes of this work will include a set of guidelines and recommendations for field-test implementation.

Wadena Burnett
Faculty Supervisor: 
Stephan Milosavljevic
Partner University: