Repetitive movements are repetitions of the same type of movements in the same position. Repetitive movements also include additional movements due to uncomfortable working positions or work equipment or movements of the joint with a large range of movement. Repeated movements are common in painting, conveyor work, sorting and many other situations.
In the case of repetitive movements, it is important for workers to be able to change their work operations, thereby straining different muscle groups and avoiding overloading the same muscle groups. Constant similar movements cause both muscle and joint damage, fatigue, strain on the senses, mental stress and can also cause digestive and circulatory disorders.
The repetition of the same movements day by day, without any action being taken to reduce and compensate for the harmful effects, exacerbates the onset of overload. First, discomfort develops in or at the area of the overloaded limbs and the capacity for work decreases, followed by moderate complaints of pain. The pain may subside quickly when the load is lost, but as work continues, the capacity for work will continue to decrease, as it will be inconvenient to perform work tasks with sore muscles and joints. Signs of a certain disease processes can develop further – pain in the problem areas, swelling, sensitivity disorders and weakening of the muscles. Signs of chronic illness then develop, which also lead to permanent loss of capacity for work and permanent disability, such as inflammation of the elbow, inflammation of the shoulder joint, tension neck syndrome, and so on. Injuries caused by forced movements can be found in the neck and shoulder area, lower back, elbows, forearms, wrists and hands, hips and knees.
The unfavourable consequences of repetitive movements can be avoided by using large amplitude movements in the work, also making the movements alternating and more curved. Rapid repetitive uniform movements, high-precision movements and wrist rotation movements should be avoided. In the case of repetitive movements, rhythm is also important. It is recommended that the employee should not work continuously at a pace beyond their abilities, and it is also important to take regular breaks (for example, a break of five to ten minutes every 45 minutes).