Dorota Molek-Winiarska, PhD, Wroclaw University of Economics and Business; Slawomir Winiarski, PhD, Eng. University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw
The purpose of the work was to analyse psychological and physical well-being and to integrate the delivered data. Two research questions were stated:
1. How psychological and physiological well-being can be compared? Are the results convergent?
2. What implications may be implemented based on the findings by using those methods?
General well-being includes three main components: psychological, social and physical . The first considers coping with stressors and daily life to maintain a positive attitude and a sense of purpose. The second is related to a positive and supportive social network, and the third involves healthy habits and good physical condition. Psychological and social well-being is usually measured by surveys or standardised questionnaires [2,3,4,5] or by measuring the level of stress . Physical well-being is measured by analysing the condition of an organism or its parts – muscles, joints (7). There is a gap in the scientific literature in terms of assessing overall well-being by using diverse methods. It is also worth considering how to compare the results and integrate data from interdisciplinary measurements to evaluate well-being.
40 factory employees working in machining and assembly positions took part in the study (Tab.1). Workers were surveyed at a selected workstation during their work shift.
Psychological well-being was measured by using three standardised questionnaires: Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI) ; Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) ; Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire – short version (MSQ) .
Physical well-being was measured by the MyomotionTM Movement Analysis System (MAS) equipped with 16 inertial motion units. The MAS allows characterising the physical activity curves in non-laboratory conditions for all main body parts, particularly the lower and upper limbs, pelvis, and trunk. In particular, mobility (angular displacement), (bio)energetics of movements (energy expenditure and mechanical power) and inertial loads (accelerations) of body parts were assessed.
The results show the general psychological well-being is on the average level (Tab.2). The analysis of means from particular questionnaires did not show any extreme results in job satisfaction and work-related stress. According to frequency distribution analysis (tab 3), one in six worker feels high general satisfaction. However, work-related stress results show that 35% of employees suffer from high-stress levels and 20% experience too many stressors at work.
The motion analysis system assessed the mobility of different movements, the energy cost and loads of different body parts. The highest movement range for pelvis was spotted for pelvic rotation (31 deg). Pelvic movements were rather symmetrical. The highest range for loins was spotted for the tilt movement (18 deg) and obliquity (19 deg) with an asymmetrical pattern. The thorax was used at all planes. In the sagittal with a range of 16 deg, in the frontal with a range of 15 deg, and mainly in the transversal with a range of 22 deg on average. The movements were relatively symmetrical with moderate (for the thorax tilt and obliquity) or high (for the rotation) variability. The highest range of movement of all was spotted in the shoulder and elbow joints. The range for shoulder flexion-extension was around 75 deg, for abduction-adduction around 65 deg and rotation from 75-82 deg with a high predominance of movements for the right upper limb. Also, the elbow flexion-extension was of the order of 90-95 deg with high predominance for the right. The energy cost analysis was related to the component lifting (change in potential energy) and angular velocities at the joints (kinetic energy). The mean value of potential energy was 675 J (per minute) and varied over a range of approx 25 J with an interindividual deviation of 90 J. The upper limbs and trunk movements were characterised on average by relatively low angular velocities, so the change in kinetic energy was relatively small, on average 2 J (per minute) over the range from 0 to 5.4 J. Loads of the main body parts were related to the inertia and speed rate measured by the accelerometers during work. The highest accelerations were registered for the forearms (around 235 m/s2), the upper arms (~110 m/s2), with a strong predominance of movements for the right upper limb. The accelerations of the pelvis, loins and thorax were relatively small.
The main implications for the practice may be directed to two areas of the organisational environment. Firstly, results of psychological well-being are placed in the area of HRM. The detailed analysis of particular sources of stress and dissatisfaction can help create better solutions in designing HR strategy, employee development paths, improving motivating systems, and creating a healthy, positive organisational climate. Secondly, physical well-being analysis helps in improving workstations ergonomics, increasing workers and organisational productivity and may enrich H&S procedures.
– Results of psychological and physical well-being are quite comparable but not fully convergent.
– Most of the workers experienced a medium level of psychological well-being, average stress level and are pretty satisfied with their work and life. However, some of them experienced a high level of stress.
– The MAS showed an objective picture of workers? body parts state. Routine work is neither very hard nor injury-prone. On average, the speed of movements is low but with a strong predominance for the right upper limb. The energy expenditure is relatively low, and its main source is the potential energy connected to component lifting. The asymmetry of movement could lead to Low Back Pain or other acute injuries.