psychophysical measures

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Definition - What does psychophysical measures mean?

Psychophysical measures relate to the interdisciplinary study of evaluating, interpreting, and quantifying the perceived exertion of muscular strength proportionate to the application of force necessary to complete a task. Manual Materials Handling (MMH) tasks are a primary aspect that involves weighing comparative analysis using graduated scale procedures to determine workload(s) regarding health and safety standards and company output.

SureHire explains psychophysical measures

Psychophysical measures data can serve a dynamic approach in gauging the relative extent of biomechanical stressors that dictate an individual’s capacity to execute and handle the sustained load(s) within a designated time frame. Since many occupations carry significant job demands where environmental circumstances ranging from awkward body postures, static loads (fixed positions), and repetitive motions are potential hazards, psychophysical measures are beneficial in mediating ergonomic efforts to offset accidents and injuries. The criteria for appraising MMH-based tasks follows the maximum acceptable weight or maximum acceptable force parameters, independent of subjective bias from a cross-section of individuals with varying strength levels.

Many companies use tabulated diagrams to benchmark strength assessment for applicants or employees in which carrying, lifting, and lowering techniques are essential job functions designed to maximize production. The underlying premise for psychophysical measures is to target a workload commensurate with the physical limitations expected of people who assume a job position without ensuing fatigue or muscle strain. A dynamometer is a psychophysical measure device that calibrates the push-pull ratio of the physical exertion applied by the subject based on adjustable resistance settings that correlate with an industrial load.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes health and safety policies that uphold ergonomic control measures to help curb the incidence rate for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders inside the workplace. Common musculoskeletal disorders can include carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), lumbar (lower back) problems, tendinitis, and muscle strains, leading to detrimental health issues that can impact the quality of life both at home and at work. Although psychophysical measures can pose costly drawbacks to employers, their biofeedback from control studies can help target physical strength disparities across different test groups while, concurrently, leveraging new methodologies to accommodate physical labor.

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