Risk of shoulder injuries in sugarcane workers: analysis based on the simulation of the movements

Iracimara Anchieta Messias, Fabiana Rodrigues de Andrade, Almir Olivette Artero, Líria Akie Okai de Albuquerque Nóbrega


***Risk of shoulder injuries in sugarcane workers: analysis based on the simulation of the movements***

AIMS: To evaluate whether the amplitude angles of shoulder flexion and abduction, in the movements performed during a simulation of the sugarcane cutting task, exceed the limits considered safe.

 METHODS: Non-randomized controlled simulations of the movement of sugarcane cutting were performed in volunteers recruited among university students. Inclusion criteria were (a) male sex; (b) age between 21 and 40 years; (c) right handed; (d) without orthopedic and/or neurological impairment; (e) physical characteristics and a history of work activities similar to that of sugarcane cutters; (f) performing aerobic physical activity at least three times a week in the last six months. The exclusion criteria were (a) presence of pain during the tests; and (b) inability to perform the movement. The study was carried out in the laboratory of occupational biomechanics of the Center for Study and Research in Ergonomics of the School of Science and Technology of the State University of São Paulo. The kinematic data were collected by the Vicon® Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis System. The movements of flexion and abduction of the right shoulder were measured and classified. The parameters used as reference to evaluate the results were those published by the Ministry of Health of Brazil, which synthesizes the safe limits of amplitude of these movements.

 RESULTS: Ten subjects were evaluated, with a mean age of 24.5±4.78 years. A total of 39 samples obtained with the movement repetitions were analyzed during an average period of 30 seconds. The angle of shoulder in flexion remained above 30 degrees during 98.18% of the task execution time, above 45 degrees during 88.84%, above 60 degrees during 42.19% and above 90 degrees during 7.72% of the time. The abduction angle remained above 60 degrees throughout all the time and above 90 degrees during 57.59% of the time. In the amplitude of movement spikes, abduction apertures with angles greater than 100 degrees were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: During most of the time of the experiments that simulated the movement of sugarcane cutting, the flexion and abduction angles of the shoulder were above those considered safe, indicating that the activity performed by sugarcane cutters has a strong potential to cause damage to the shoulder joint.


occupational health; rural workers; shoulder joint; shoulder impingement syndrome; occupational risks.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/1980-6108.2017.3.27610



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