Abstract

Initial research by the authors using an online survey of over six hundred participants analysing what (if any) activities lead to discomfort, particularly in the hand, showed that cleaning tasks and in particular, mopping, sweeping and hoovering led to higher levels of hand discomfort than other ADL’s (Carre, 2009). Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as cleaning, hoovering, mopping, and so on have had little or no previous research undertaken on them. In 2005, Tresea et al., examined the prevalence of work related injury and explored barriers to, and experienced of, reporting them amongst workers. The results showed that over one year, three quarters of the workers studied experienced work-related pain. With reference to the above study, the authors defined two categories of cleaning activity, termed heavy work and light work. ‘Heavy’ work was characterized by neutral postures, walking, repetitive movements involving the articulations of the upper limb pushing a 1-6 kg (wet or dry) mop, with occasional more intense effort. ‘Light’ work was characterized by flexed postures, walking, rapid repetitive movements involving the articulations of the upper limb and the movement of light weights (dusting) or 1-3 kg weights (emptying wastebaskets), with more occasional intense effort (Teresa et al., 2005). It was proposed to study the process of using cleaning equipment such as a mop, brush and hoover and ascertain what factors may lead to discomfort particularly in the hand. However to inform the design of the questionnaire’s, tasks to be analysed and experimental set-up, one of the authors took a job as part of this cleaning team and has worked for over two years as a cleaner, logging their own experiences and activities in a diary and recording the experiences of their colleagues. This paper details those experiences with comments and reflections from the diary work and demonstrates how the experiential approach led to improved design of experiments and data gathering.

Keywords:

Comfort, Grip, Daily Living, Cleaning

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Yo Soy Yo Y Mi Circunstancia: My Life as a Cleaner

Initial research by the authors using an online survey of over six hundred participants analysing what (if any) activities lead to discomfort, particularly in the hand, showed that cleaning tasks and in particular, mopping, sweeping and hoovering led to higher levels of hand discomfort than other ADL’s (Carre, 2009). Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as cleaning, hoovering, mopping, and so on have had little or no previous research undertaken on them. In 2005, Tresea et al., examined the prevalence of work related injury and explored barriers to, and experienced of, reporting them amongst workers. The results showed that over one year, three quarters of the workers studied experienced work-related pain. With reference to the above study, the authors defined two categories of cleaning activity, termed heavy work and light work. ‘Heavy’ work was characterized by neutral postures, walking, repetitive movements involving the articulations of the upper limb pushing a 1-6 kg (wet or dry) mop, with occasional more intense effort. ‘Light’ work was characterized by flexed postures, walking, rapid repetitive movements involving the articulations of the upper limb and the movement of light weights (dusting) or 1-3 kg weights (emptying wastebaskets), with more occasional intense effort (Teresa et al., 2005). It was proposed to study the process of using cleaning equipment such as a mop, brush and hoover and ascertain what factors may lead to discomfort particularly in the hand. However to inform the design of the questionnaire’s, tasks to be analysed and experimental set-up, one of the authors took a job as part of this cleaning team and has worked for over two years as a cleaner, logging their own experiences and activities in a diary and recording the experiences of their colleagues. This paper details those experiences with comments and reflections from the diary work and demonstrates how the experiential approach led to improved design of experiments and data gathering.

 

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