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conducting;kinematics;motion capture;upper limb;work related musculoskeletal disorder


Nadia Azar


David Andrews



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


A high prevalence of the physical symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders has been identified in conductors (Luger and Trouli, 2023; Geraldo and Fiorini, 2022). Both repetition and non-neutral postures have been identified as risk factors in the development of musculoskeletal disorders (Kumar, 2008; Frievalds, 2018) and are clearly present in a conductor’s job description. The current study aims to examine conductors’ exposures to these factors by answering the guiding research question: what does the upper body movement patterns of a conductor look like? Seven conductors were instrumented with the Xsens MVN AwindaTM motion capture system during one of their ensembles’ regular rehearsals and data were collected while the participants conducted their ensemble. Data were reprocessed using the Xsens software’s built-in biomechanical model and exported to Excel where outcome variables (including mean, median, maximum, and minimum joint angles, the joint range of motion, and the intra-subject variability, for all available rotations of the upper limb joints and the trunk and neck segments) were analyzed. Percent time spent in neutral and non-neutral postures (McAtamney and Corlett, 1993; Humadi et al., 2021) was also calculated. The inherent repetition was clearly visible in time series graphs and large ranges of motion were present at all upper limb joints (i.e. shoulder flexion R:165.5, L: 160.2 and elbow flexion R:174.2, L:187.2). Notable amounts of time were spent in non-neutral postures, especially on the right side (i.e. shoulder flexion 81.7%, wrist extension 73.5%). Future directions include increasing the sample size and standardizing music conducted to improve generalizability.

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Kinesiology Commons