In spite of increased automation, there still is a need for ergonomically designed manual tools in the modern consumer and industrial environment. For example, many studies have examined the work physiology involved in shovelling but few have referred to the shovel design parameters needed to make the task more efficient. Thus the effects of such parameters as handle length and size and shape of blade, were examined on shovelling performance, energy expenditure and subjective ratings of perceived exertion. The results indicate the following recommendations in shovel design: a long tapered handle for efficient digging and shovelling, a square-point blade for shovelling, a round-point blade for digging, a large blade for low density materials and a small blade for high density materials.
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