This book is focused on the study of occupational musculoskeletal diseases which was the subject of a European collaborative research project under the Biomed IV programme. Funded by the European Commission, the project consisted of a series of investigations of musculoskeletal disorders in health-related professions (nurses, physiotherapists, hospital porters and so on). The research groups were based in Liverpool John Moores University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Free University of Amsterdam.
The authors have taken the opportunity to provide a comprehensive background for the approaches towards studying musculoskeletal problems. There is an initial overview of the whole project before the uses of the various methodologies adopted are reviewed. These include epidemiological investigations, physiological analyses, spinal loading and formal risk assessment. There are useful backgrounds on eletromyography and body composition techniques, before their applications in an occupational context are described. Discrete studies in the various countries are placed in context. The text culminates in the promulgation of a preventative model for the nursing profession and a review of the research project in total. The book therefore provides valuable information about ergonomics in action and is a useful update on contemporary work on musculoskeletal diseases.