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TOP >  Activities >  Publications >  The research paper related to Research Subject 3 was published!

The research paper related to Research Subject 3 was published!

A Weight off the Shoulders: Ergonomically Relieving Muscular Pain in Fluoroscopy Endoscopists

During the endoscopy of some parts of the upper gastrointestinal tract, sometimes fluoroscopy (a special type of x-ray imaging) is used to monitor whether the endoscope is in the right position within the tract’s twists and turns. But x-rays mean radiation exposure, so, endoscopists performing fluoroscopic procedures must wear heavy lead-based radiation personal protective aprons. They’re also often required to stand in a static position for long hours to perform a procedure correctly and safely and to perform multiple procedures. Not surprisingly, this makes them prone to musculoskeletal disorders, characterized by injuries of the muscles, nerves, and bones. However, there are very few real feasible measures out there—in terms of procedural protocol or the equipment used and their placement in the room—to make a real difference to improving the working conditions for these endoscopists.

Link to the original journal article:

Title of the paper: Ability of ergonomic timeout to reduce musculoskeletal discomfort related to fluoroscopic endoscopy
Authors: Yasuki Hori, Taisei Nagai, Kazuki Hayashi, Hiroyuki Izumi, Kiyoko Yokoyama, Takeshi Ebara
DOI: 10.1055/a-1594-2037
Corresponding author e-mail:
Now, researchers from Nagoya City University, Japan, have come up with a simple, innovative ergonomic approach called the “practical load-on-the-shoulders releasing technique” (PoRT), which is also completely free of cost !
In PoRT, the idea is to use one’s thumbs to lift up the lead aprons off the shoulders during micro breaks (rest periods less than 1 minute) after defined amounts of work time. Particular hand, back, neck, shoulder, and trunk postures also need to be maintained while performing this lifting in order to prevent injuries or muscle fatigue during the break. Ergonomic posture combined with the weight of the apron lifted off the shoulders is expected to help muscles get less tired overall, improving health.
To test the effectiveness of PoRT, the researchers evaluated muscle fatigue in a senior endoscopist under five environmental conditions: working with no break, and working with micro breaks after 20 and 40 minutes with and without PoRT. They also measured his muscular discomfort levels using a visual analogue scale at four time points in the day. Further, they measured his head and trunk angles over the course of the workday using a wearable accelerometer.
They found that taking micro breaks with PoRT helped the endoscopist maintain head and trunk angles closer to the ideal ergonomic position for a greater period during the day. This reduced his overall muscular discomfort. This was not the case when micro breaks were taken without using PoRT.
This easy-to-adopt and cost-free ergonomic measure could create a safer and healthier work environment for endoscopists performing fluoroscopic procedures.