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Development of a method for the digital evaluation of body postures and movement patterns

(in German)

Work related rehabilitation underwent a continuous change within the past years. Due to changes in social security statutes, the current german health system aims towards a thorough rehabilitation to foster social and work related participation of people with disabilities. For a good design of work related rehabilitation and a reliable return-to-work prediction, it is necessary to analyze the targeted workplace as well as the current abilities of the worker. These profiles need to be evaluated in a comparative assessment. There are several nationally recognized methods available, for example functional capacity evaluation or profile matching tools. Functional capacity evaluation methods offer a good estimation of the workers abilities, but some of the results depend on subjective grading of the rater. Especially the rating of commitment is a major challenge in this context. Further, no standardized report or workflow to submit the work related information is extensively available. The presented work therefore focusses on the development of a digital system to assist occupational professionals as well as health care professionals and therapists.

As a feasibility analysis, a three dimensional time-of-flight based depth camera was used as a markerless motion capturing device, with self-written software. Body posture, joint center coordinates and motion trajectories were used for subsequent calculations.

The system was evaluated in an industrial environment as well as in a laboratory setting. The main objectives were:

  1. Evaluation of the interrater reliability between the digital system and a manual human judgement
  2. Evaluation of objectifiable parameters within a functional capacity evaluation test
  3. Prediction of the perceived exertion of participants within a stage lifting test, based on the multidimensional time series analysis of motion patterns with machine learning algorithms

Methods and results are presented and discussed with focus on the judgement of eligibility for a productive use of the system in industrial environments and professional occupational rehabilitation.

Please download the complete report "Development of a method for the digital evaluation of body postures and movement patterns" (in German).

Bibliographic information

D. Bonin:
Entwicklung eines Verfahrens zur digitalen Erfassung von Körperhaltungen und Bewegungsmustern. 
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2019. pages 128, paper, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:bericht20190301