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  • Aasa, Ulrika (författare)
  • Ambulance Work
  • 2005
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Although musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and other health complaints are an occupational problem for ambulance personnel, there is a lack of knowledge regarding work-related factors associated with MSDs and other health complaints. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate the relationships between occupational demands, individual characteristics and health-related outcomes among ambulance personnel.A random sample of 234 female and 953 male ambulance personnel participated in a national questionnaire survey on work-related factors, and musculoskeletal and other health complaints. Physical demands was associated with activity limitation due to neck-shoulder and low-back complaints among the female personnel. Among the male personnel, physical demands was associated with low-back complaints and activity limitation due to low-back complaints. Psychological demands was significantly associated with neck-shoulder complaints, sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms among both female and male ambulance personnel. Worry about work conditions was associated with musculoskeletal disorders and sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms.A local sample of 26 ambulance personnel was followed during a 24-hour work shift and for the next two work-free days. Subjective stress- and energy levels, and cortisol levels were measured at regular intervals, and heart rate was registered continuously by electrocardiogram (ECG). Autonomic reactivity to standardized tests before (pre-work) and at the end of the work shift (post-work) was also investigated. For the whole group, baseline values of heart rate were higher pre-work than post-work, but autonomic reactivity did not differ. Increased reactivity to the mental test, modest deviation in heart rate variability (HRV) pattern during the late night hours at work and higher morning cortisol values during work than during leisure time were observed in personnel with many health complaints, but not among their co-workers without or with few complaints. Ambulance personnel with many health complaints also reported higher psychological demands and tended to be more worried about work conditions.Heart rate (HR), lactate level (LL) and perceived exertion (RPE) were investigated in 17 female and 48 male ambulance personnel during a simulated standardized work task “carry a loaded stretcher”. The ambulance personnel had to carry the loaded stretcher (920 N) up and down three flights of stairs twice. The high physiological strain (HR, LL, RPE) for the male, and near or at maximal strain for the female ambulance personnel, implied the importance to identify what kind of physical capacity is most important for ambulance personnel. Therefore, the explained variance of developed fatigue by tests of cardiorespiratory capacity, muscular strength and endurance, and coordination was investigated. The results showed that VO2max and isometric back endurance were important predictors for development of fatigue when carrying a loaded stretcher.The influence of body size on the relationships between maximal strength and functional performance was investigated in a methodological study. The results confirm that the assessment of physical performance could be confounded by the body weight. Therefore, the models for explaining development of fatigue when carrying the loaded stretcher were adjusted for height and weight. Including height in the models significantly increased the explained variance of accumulated lactate among female, but not among male personnel. Lactate levels were higher among short compared to tall female personnel. Weight had no effect on any of the models.In conclusion, the national survey showed that self-reported physical demands was a risk factor of having MSDs, and that self-reported psychological demands and worry about work were important risk factors of having MSDs and other health complaints. Stress monitoring of ambulance personnel during work and leisure time showed that physiological and subjective stress markers did not show any differences between the 24-hour ambulance work shift and leisure time afterwards. However, ambulance personnel with many health complaints had certain physiological changes during the work shift in comparison with the next two work-free days. The physiological and subjective responses during carrying a loaded stretcher, especially among the female ambulance personnel, showed that female and male ambulance personnel could be exposed to internal exposures at different levels when performing the same work task. A better understanding of the relationships between occupational demands and health-related outcomes require further studies on age- and gender matched groups in long-term perspective studies.
  • Aasa, Ulrika, et al. (författare)
  • Relationships between work-related factors and disorders in the neck-shoulder and low-back region among female and male ambulance personnel.
  • 2005
  • Ingår i: Journal of Occupational Health. - 1341-9145. ; 47:6, s. 481-9
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This cross-sectional study on a random sample of 1,500 ambulance personnel investigated the relationships between self-reported work-related physical and psychosocial factors, worry about work conditions, and musculoskeletal disorders among female and male ambulance personnel. Three different outcomes, complaints, activity limitation, and sick leave, for the neck-shoulder and low-back region, respectively, were chosen. Among the female personnel, physical demands was significantly associated with activity limitation in the neck-shoulder (OR 4.13) and low-back region (OR 2.17), and psychological demands with neck-shoulder (OR 2.37) and low-back (OR 2.28) complaints. Among the male personnel, physical demands was significantly associated with low-back complaints (OR 1.41) and activity limitation (OR 1.62). Psychological demands and lack of social support were significantly associated with neck-shoulder complaints (OR 1.86 and OR 1.58, respectively) and activity limitation (OR 3.46 and OR 1.71) as well as activity limitation due to low-back complaints (OR 2.22 and OR 1.63). Worry about work conditions was independently associated with activity limitation due to low-back complaints among the female (OR 5.28), and to both neck-shoulder and low-back complaints (OR 1.79 and OR 2.04, respectively) and activity limitation (OR 2.32 and OR 1.95) among the male personnel. In conclusion, the association patterns between physical and psychological demands and MSDs suggest opportunities for intervention.
  • Aasa, Ulrika, et al. (författare)
  • Stress monitoring of ambulance personnel during work and leisure time.
  • 2006
  • Ingår i: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. - 0340-0131. ; 80:1, s. 51-59
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Objectives: The aim of the present study was to assess physiological and subjective stress markers during a 24-h ambulance work shift and during the next two work-free days, and relate these parameters to self-reported health complaints. Methods: Twenty-six ambulance personnel were followed during a 24-h work shift and during the next two work-free days with electrocardiogram, cortisol assessments and diary notes. The ambulance personnel also performed tests of autonomic reactivity before and at the end of the work shift. The subjects were categorized into two groups according to their number of health complaints. Results: In general, stress markers did not show differences between the work shift and leisure time. However, a modest deviation in heart rate variability pattern and higher morning cortisol values during work in comparison with work-free days were observed in personnel with many health complaints. Conclusions: Subjective and physiological characteristics of ambulance personnel did not indicate distinctive stress during the 24-h work shift. Relationships between frequent health complaints and specific work-related factors require further prospective studies.
  • Aasa, Ulrika, et al. (författare)
  • The effects of a 1-year physical exercise programme on development of fatigue during a simulated ambulance work task.
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: Ergonomics. - 0014-0139. ; 51:8, s. 1179-94
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of individually prescribed physical exercise programmes on development of fatigue during the carrying of a loaded stretcher up and down the stairs. Nineteen ambulance personnel performed the training for 1 year. Testing occurred before and after 1 year of the training. Both the training group (n = 19) and the control group (n = 15) were assessed for physical capacity and lactate concentration in blood and ratings of perceived exertion during carrying a stretcher on the stairs. When comparisons were made between those who had been training three times/week for 1 year and the control group, lactate concentration was significantly decreased. In conclusion, markers of fatigue during stretcher carrying can be reduced by the use of individually prescribed physical exercise programmes.
  • Aasa, Ulrika, et al. (författare)
  • Work-related psychosocial factors, worry about work conditions and health complaints among female and male ambulance personnel.
  • 2005
  • Ingår i: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. - 0283-9318. ; 19:3, s. 251-258
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This study aimed at investigating the relationships between work-related psychosocial factors, worry about work conditions and health complaints (sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms) among female and male ambulance personnel. Out of 4000 ambulance personnel in Sweden, 1500 (300 female and 1200 male personnel) were randomly selected. They answered a questionnaire including items on self-reported health complaints, individual characteristics, work-related psychological demands, decision latitude, social support and worry about work conditions. Twenty-five per cent of the female and 20% of the male ambulance personnel reported two or more health complaints sometimes or often. According to the demand-control-support questionnaire, ambulance personnel reported a generally positive psychosocial work environment, although psychological demands were associated with sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms among both female and male ambulance personnel. Another factor that was significantly associated with health complaints among both genders was worry about work conditions. When worry about work conditions was added to the regression models, this variable took over the role from psychological demands as a predictor for health complaints among the female ambulance personnel. The prevalence of sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms were significantly associated with psychological demands among both female and male ambulance personnel. Notably, worry about work conditions seems to be an important risk factor for health complaints. This suggests that worry about work conditions should not be neglected when considering risk factors among ambulance personnel.
  • Adams, Robin, et al. (författare)
  • What is the word for 'Engineering' in Swedish : Swedish students conceptions of their discipline
  • 2007
  • Rapport (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Engineering education in Sweden – as in the rest of the world – is experiencing a decline in student interest. There are concerns about the ways in which students think about engineering education, why they join an academic programme in engineering, and why they persist in their studies. In this context the aims of the Nationellt ämnesdidaktiskt Centrum för Teknikutbildning i Studenternas Sammanhang project (CeTUSS) is to investigate the student experience and to identify and support a continuing network of interested researchers, as well as in building capacity for disciplinary pedagogic investigation.The Stepping Stones project brings together these interests in a multi-researcher, multi-institutional study that investigates how tudents and academic staff perceive engineering in Sweden and in Swedish education. The first results of that project are reported here. As this study is situated uniquely in Swedish education, it allows for exploration of “a Swedish perspective” on conceptions of engineering. The Stepping Stones project was based on a model of research capacity-building previously instantiated in the USA and Australia (Fincher & Tenenberg, 2006).
  • Asell, Malin, et al. (författare)
  • Are lumbar repositioning errors larger among patients with chronic low back pain compared with asymptomatic subjects?
  • 2006
  • Ingår i: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. - 0003-9993. ; 87:9, s. 1170-1176
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • OBJECTIVE: To resolve the debate over whether lumbar repositioning acuity is reduced in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) by using a study design and methodology to minimize the effects of potential confounders. DESIGN: A single-blinded, controlled, multigroup comparative study.SETTING: Vocational rehabilitation center.PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-two patients with CLBP, divided into subgroups based on severity of symptoms and diagnostic characteristics. An age- and sex-matched group (n=31) of healthy subjects were the control. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We measured repositioning errors (variable, constant) at 3 positions of the lumbar spine. Subjects were guided to a sitting target posture and asked to perform lumbar flexion before reproducing the target posture. Self-assessed pain, self-efficacy, and functional ability were addressed through questionnaires.RESULTS: There were no differences in repositioning errors between the patients with CLBP or the subgroups of patients and the control group. We found only weak correlations between the repositioning errors and the self-reported data on functional disability, self-efficacy, and pain.CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that sensorimotor dysfunctions in CLBP should be evaluated with methods other than repositioning tests in order to generate data relevant to the development of rational diagnostic methods and rehabilitation programs.
  • Barnekow-Bergkvist, Margareta, et al. (författare)
  • Prediction of development of fatigue during a simulated ambulance work task from physical performance tests.
  • 2004
  • Ingår i: Ergonomics. - 0014-0139. ; 47:11, s. 1238-1250
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The aims of this study were (1) to identify which physical performance tests could best explain the development of fatigue during a simulated ambulance work task, (2) to investigate the effect of height and weight and (3) to investigate in what respects these findings differ between female and male ambulance personnel. Forty-eight male and 17 female ambulance personnel completed a test battery assessing cardio-respiratory capacity, muscular strength and endurance, and co-ordination. The subjects also completed a simulated ambulance work task -- carrying a loaded stretcher. The work task was evaluated by development of fatigue. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were used to investigate to what extent the tests in the test battery were able to explain the variance of developed fatigue. The explained variance was higher for female than for male ambulance personnel (time > 70% of HRpeak: R2 = 0.75 vs 0.10, accumulated lactate: R2 = 0.62 vs 0.42, perceived exertion: R2 = 0.75 vs 0.10). Significant predictors in the models were VO2max, isometric back endurance, one-leg rising, isokinetic knee flexion and shoulder extension strength. Height, but not weight, could further explain the variance. The high physical strain during carrying the loaded stretcher implies the importance of investigating whether improved performance, matching the occupational demands, could decrease the development of fatigue during strenuous tasks.
  • Barnekow-Bergkvist, M, et al. (författare)
  • Relationships between physical activity and physical capacity in adolescent females and bone mass in adulthood.
  • 2006
  • Ingår i: Scand J Med Sci Sports. - 0905-7188. ; 16:6, s. 447-55
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This study investigates whether physical activity and physical performance in adolescence are positively related to adult bone mineral density (BMD). In 1974, physical activity, endurance, and muscular strength were measured in 204 randomly selected female students, age 16.1 +/- 0.3 year (range 15-17 years). Twenty years later, 36 of the women volunteered to undergo a measurement of their BMD. Women who were members in a sports club in adolescence had significantly higher adult BMD (mean differences of 5% to 17% depending on site) compared with subjects who were not engaged in a sports club. Furthermore, women with persistent weight-bearing activity in adulthood had significantly higher BMD compared with women who had stopped being active or had never been active. The differences ranged between 5% and 19% with the highest difference found in trochanter BMD. Stepwise regression analyses showed that membership in a sports club at baseline was a significant independent predictor of BMD in the total body, lumbar spine, legs, trochanter, and femoral neck, explaining 17-26% of the variation in BMD. Change in body weight was a strong independent predictor of BMD of the total body and arms, explaining 8% of the variation in both sites. In addition, running performance at baseline was an independent predictor of total body BMD, whereas the two-hand lift performance significantly predicted BMD of the total body, legs and trochanter. The hanging leg-lift and handgrip were both significant predictors of arm BMD. In conclusion, membership in a sports club and site-specific physical performance in adolescence together with the change in body weight were significantly associated with adult BMD in premenopausal women
  • Bergfors, M, et al. (författare)
  • Short-term effects of repetitive arm work and dynamic exercise on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
  • 2005
  • Ingår i: Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. - 0001-6772. ; 183:4, s. 345-356
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • AIM: To determine whether repetitive arm work, with a large component of static muscle contraction alters glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.METHOD: Euglycemic clamps (2 h) were started in ten healthy individuals 15 min after 37 min periods of: (1) repetitive arm work in a simulated occupational setting; (2) dynamic concentric exercise on a cycle ergometer at 60% of VO(2max) and (3) a resting regime as a control. During the experimental periods, blood samples were collected, blood pressure was measured repeatedly and electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded continuously. During the clamps, euglycemia was maintained at 5 mmol l(-1) and insulin was infused at 56 mU m(-2) min(-1) for 120 min.RESULTS: The insulin-mediated glucose disposal rate (M-value) for the steady-state period (60-120 min) of the clamp, tended to be lower following arm work than for both cycling and resting regimes. When dividing the steady-state period into 20-min intervals, the insulin sensitivity index (ISI) was significantly lower for arm work compared with the resting control situation between 60-80 min (P = 0.04) and 80-100 min (P = 0.01), respectively. Catecholamines increased significantly for arm work and cycling compared with resting regime. Data from heart rate variability (HRV) measurements indicated significant sympathetic activation during repetitive arm work.CONCLUSION: The results indicate that repetitive arm work might acutely promote insulin resistance, whereas no such effect on insulin resistance was produced by dynamic concentric exercise.
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