View Full Version : What is work technique?:Summary-addendum

Lars Lindbeck
10-04-1996, 12:49 AM
Dear BIOMCH-L readers,

Two weeks ago I sent out a summary of replies on the inquiry "What is work
technique?" In the inquiry I raised some questions concerning possible
definitions, appropriate biomechanical variables and measurement methods,
related areas etc., After that summary I received some additional answers,
for which I am grateful:

FWIW, you may find some interest in the recent work of Monique Lortie (UQAM
- Montreal) and Micheline Gagnon (U of Montreal) on differences between
novice and expert manual handlers. This is now coming out in journal
articles, previously only in conference abstract form. But there are many
other aspects of work technique, as I'm sure you are aware.

Owen Evans
__________________________________________________ ___________________
Owen Evans, PhD Email: o.evans@latrobe.edu.au
Associate Professor in Ergonomics Tel: +61 3 92855311
School of Human Biosciences Fax: +61 3 92855184
La Trobe University Postal: Locked Bag 12
Melbourne CARLTON SOUTH 3053
Australia Victoria, Australia
__________________________________________________ ___________________

Would you consider "technique" relative to biomechanical view similar to
"pattern" In other words, for a given task, if we found statistically
significant biomechanical variables (position, velocity, acceleration)
similar across a sample of people, could you then be able to classify
those as pattern or technique relative to that task? Given, for
instance, that a work station and its related "pieces" are the same for
all subjects.

Celeste Combs
Consulting Researcher
Microsoft Input Device Group

Hello Lars,

I saw your original post but failed to respond right away. I just wanted
to add some information that may seem from an unusual source: dance.

Dancers and choreographers have long sought ways to describe technique
(specific movement patterns) as well as style (the quality with which a
movement is performed). In fact, over the past few hundred years, several
dance notation forms have arisen. You can imagine that notating dance is
vastly more difficult than notating music.

The most common notation today is Labanotation, created by Rudolf Laban
(born in the last part of the 1800s in Bratislava; died in 1958 in
England). Laban, himself, was interested in both movement as art and
movement in industry ("work technique"). He not only created a notation
for movement patterns, but also ways of notating the "quality" of movement
(e.g., smooth, forceful, etc).

I have a few of his books. There are major centers in London and New York
City where Labanotation is taught.

If you would like more information, I could tell you a bit more about the
books I have. I used to be a dancer; now I am a motor control scientist.
I haven't danced in several years.

I have often wondered if the concepts of Laban and the science of Bernstein
could be combined......

Good luck.

Amy E. Tyler, Ph.D.
Physical Therapy Department
St. Ambrose University
Davenport, IA

Dancing is an area where biomechanical methods should be useful but I can't
remember that I have read about such applications in the biomechanical
journals. I think Laban and Labanotation might be a good clue for further
exploration of the Work Technique concept. Thanks again.



Lars Lindbeck, PhD
National Institute for Working Life
S-171 84 SOLNA
tel: + 46-8-730 93 09
fax: +46-8-730 19 67, + 46-8-27 35 05