The aim was to investigate the effect of ergonomics guidelines on muscular activity, postural and cardiovascular load during cleaning. Eighteen cleaners performed 10 min of cleaning tasks in two locations; three min in a laboratory and seven min in a lecture room. All participants performed the task with or without focusing on ergonomics guidelines (ergonomics/non-ergonomics session). Bipolar surface electromyography was recorded bilaterally from upper trapezius and erector spinae muscles. A tri-axial accelerometer package was mounted on the low back (L5-S1) to measure postural changes, and the cardiovascular load was estimated by electrocardiogram. Ergonomics sessions resulted in lower muscular load, a more complex pattern of muscular activity, lower range of motion and angular velocity of the trunk as well as lower cardiovascular load compared with non-ergonomics sessions (p < 0.05). The study highlighted the multiple musculoskeletal and cardiovascular benefits of following ergonomics guidelines during cleaning tasks.
Practitioner Summary: This study investigated the effects of following instructive ergonomics guidelines during cleaning tasks (daily curriculum of cleaning including mopping, sweeping, changing trash bins and cleaning of desks and blackboards). Following the ergonomics guidelines reduces the general workload and induces a more complex pattern of muscular activity. The study contributes with novel knowledge concerning ergonomics guidelines and work techniques.