PEROSH recommendations for procedures to measure occupational physical activity and workload

NFA, Andreas Holtermann (


Collaborating partners:
University of Gävle and Karolinska Institute

Target groups:
Researchers, e
rgonomists, OSH professionals, employers and workers of organisations confronted with physical demands at the workplace can use the results of this project to further fine-tune their risk assessments.

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Physical demands at the workplace are generally acknowledged to be the main risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders and associated with a number work-related issues (sickness absence and an early exit from the labour market) imposing an enormous burden on the individual and the society.

In addition physical activity in general – both work and leisure time – has been identified as the main determinant for “lifestyle” diseases such as overweight and hypertension. Exposure assessments in this area have to a large extent so far been based on self-reported information on physical work demands.  This incurs a high risk of information and recall bias. There is a great need for technical measurement systems capable of providing valid information about physical workplace exposure or physical activity patterns which later can be applied in larger epidemiological studies.

Several research institutes in PEROSH have already developed and are using different technical measures of physical work demands. However, knowledge exchange and coordination of development, validation, protocols and experience in using the different methods between the research institutes are lacking. This PEROSH workgroup is working on unleashing this potential, generating a common framework for technical measures of physical work demands and physical activity. The milestones of the project will follow the previously described objectives in the study.

Publication A practical guidance for assessments of sedentary behavior at work

1st Report Assessing Sedentary Behaviour at Work with Technical Assessment Systems

2nd Report Assessing Arm Elevation at Work with Technical Assessment Systems

Contact Andreas Holtermann, NFA

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