The effects of sitting vs. standing and scanner type on cashiers
SourceErgonomics, 44, 7, (2001), pp. 719-738
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
In the retail supermarket industry where cashiers perform repetitive, light manual material handling tasks when scanning and handling products, reports of musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort are high. Ergonomics tradeoffs exist between sitting and standing postures, which are further confounded by the checkstand design and point-of-sale technology, such as the scanner. A laboratory experiment was conducted to understand the effects of working position (sitting vs. standing) and scanner type (bi-optic vs. single window) on muscle activity, upper limb and spinal posture, and subjective preference of cashiers. Ten cashiers from a Dutch retailer participated in the study. Cashiers exhibited lower muscle activity in the neck and shoulders when standing and using a bi-optic scanner. Shoulder abduction was also less for standing conditions. In addition, all cashiers preferred using the bi-optic scanner with mixed preferences for sitting (n=6) and standing (n=4). Static loading of the muscles was relatively high compared to benchmarks, suggesting that during the task of scanning, cashiers may not have adequate recovery time to prevent fatigue. It is recommended that retailers integrate bi-optic scanners into standing checkstands to minimize postural stress, fatigue and discomfort in cashiers.
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