Evaluation of Gender Effect in Various Pliers' Grip Spans for Maximum Isometric Grasping Tasks Kong, Yong-Ku; Kim, Dae-Min; Park, Ji-Soo; Lee, Sung-Yong; Choi, Kyeong-Hee; Kim, Kyung Ran;
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of gender (male, female) and grip spans (45, 50, 60, 70, 80mm) on total grip strength, resultant force, finger force and subjective discomfort rating. Background: In order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders, studies of hand tools need to be preceded based on grip strength, finger force, and subjective discomfort rating. However, experimental apparatus using tools such as pliers that reflect the actual work place was almost non-existent. Method: Fifty-Two (26 males and 26 females) participants were recruited from the student population. In this study, a pair of revised pliers, which can change grip span from 45 to 80mm was applied to estimate total grip strength, resultant force and individual finger forces. All participants were asked to exert a maximum grip force with three repetitions, and to report the subjective discomfort rating for five grip spans of pliers (45, 50, 60, 70, 80mm). Results: There were significant differences of total grip strength, resultant force, individual finger forces and subjective discomfort rating according to grip span. The lowest total grip strength was obtained from the grip span of 80mm for both genders. For resultant force, the highest resultant force was exerted at grip spans of 50, 60 and 70mm for females and 50 and 60mm for males. The lowest subjective discomfort rating was observed in the 50mm for both genders. Conclusion: Based on the result, 50mm and 60mm grip spans which provide the highest force and lowest discomfort rating might be recommendable for the male and female pliers users. Application: The findings of this study can provide guidelines on designing a hand tool to help to reduce hand-related musculoskeletal disorders and obtain better performance.
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