Assessing the physical load of wearable computers

James Knight, Christopher Baber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
354 Downloads (Pure)


Wearable computers enable workers to interact with computer equipment in situations where previously they were unable. Attaching a computer to the body though has an unknown physical effect. This paper reports a methodology for addressing this, by assessing postural effects and the effect of added weight. Using the example of arm-mounted computers (AMCs), the paper shows that adopting a posture to interact with an AMC generates fatiguing levels of stress and a load of 0.54 kg results in increased level of stress and increased rate of fatigue. The paper shows that, due to poor postures adopted when wearing and interacting with computers and the weight of the device attached to the body, one possible outcome for prolonged exposure is the development of musculoskeletal disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • discomfort
  • perceived exertion
  • pain
  • arm-mounted computer
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • ergonomics
  • fatigue
  • EMG
  • posture


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