Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Performance Based Approach for the Design of Work Area
by Choi, Hyeg Joo, Ph.D., Miami University, 2006, 137; 10817928
Abstract (Summary)

On what basis should the size and shape of work area be established such that people can perform their job efficiently and comfortably? Part 1 reviewed some of the early research on work area design, from which the concepts of normal and maximum work areas were developed based on geometric models. This dissertation provides a derivation for Squires’ (1956) classic model of normal work area and proved that the distal boundary of the normal work area was not a prolate epicycloid, as Squires claimed, but a hypotrochoid. Purely geometric models, such as Squires’, did not consider actual human performance and were unable to show that workers could perform their work comfortably within the suggested boundaries. Thus, the design of work area should be based on a different rationale.

The second part of this investigation used a performance-based approach for designing work area layout. Work area boundaries were established using behavioral data from observations of the actions people used to reach. The conclusions from Experiments 1 and 2 were that 85% of workers’ maximum arm-only reach distance would delineate the boundary for normal work area, which was defined as the area where workers could work comfortably and efficiently; and 93% of their maximum arm-and-torso reach distance would demarcate the maximum seated work area. For strongly right-handed workers, the left-most boundary of the area where they would use their right hand to perform a unimanual task would coincide with their left shoulder plane.

Finally, the intrinsic measurements showed that critical work area boundaries are constant ratios relative to each person’s own body scale. Because the final product of a performance-based approach is presented as a dimensionless ratio, multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict absolute critical boundary for near and far boundaries, such that this intrinsic measurement was converted to extrinsic measurement for providing the basis of work area design. In this investigation, those regression models for near and far boundaries were applied to the 1988 ANSUR data base (Gordon et al, 1989).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mark, Leonard
School: Miami University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Experimental psychology
Keywords: Performance based approach, Reach envelope, Work area design
Publication Number: 10817928
ISBN: 978-0-355-84488-7
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