Consistent individual motor variability traits demonstrated by females performing a long-cycle assembly task under conditions differing in temporal organisation

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Research suggests an association between motor variability (MV) during repetitive work and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, whether MV is a consistent individual trait, even across working conditions or tasks, remains unknown. This study assessed whether individual MV traits were consistent during complex work performed under different temporal conditions. Fifteen women performed cyclic assembly under four conditions differing in pace and organisation (line-type, batch-type). MV of trapezius muscle activity and upper arm elevation was quantified and partitioned into variance components. For all MV metrics, a non-zero between-subjects variance was found, indicating consistent individual MV traits across conditions. Variance between subjects was higher for electromyography (EMG) MV metrics compared with kinematic metrics. Our results showed individuals exhibited consistent MV traits across working conditions differing in pace and production process. Further research is needed to understand whether MV is an individual predictive factor for MSD onset or progression.



Motor control, Trapezius electromyography, Upper arm elevation angle