In a new paper co-authored by Professor Julie Côté, researchers found that differences in gender may explain "susceptibility to developing musculoskeletal disorders when performing repetitive work for prolonged periods in occupational life."
The paper examines research conducted with 113 healthy young adults, and specifically looks at gender differences in susceptibility to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Traditionally work-related MSD's have been reported more often by women, with an increase specifically in injuries related to neck and shoulder/arm. The study attempts to reveal the specific mechanisms whereby this occurs, and to reveal whether or not gender differences exist in the ways that men and women respond to performing specific workpace tasks: i.e., that of a cashier, or meat-cutter -where high incidences of workplace-related MSDs occur.
"To the best of our knowledge," write the authors in a point for discussion, "this is the ﬁrst study to compare motor responses accompanying fatigue between men and women in a standardized repetitive task involving the upper extremities."
Dr. Julie Côté is Associate Professor and Chair with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University. Her research interests include biomechanics, ergonomics, motor control, and fatigue. Professor Côté is Director of the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab (OBEL).