Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Strawderman, Lesley

Committee Member

Babski-Reeves, Kari

Committee Member

Eksioglu, Sandra

Committee Member

Hale, Brendon

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


Functional limitation, postural stability, and muscle recruitment of different categories of obesity were evaluated while performing an assembly workstation task. Three workstations, those designed for the 5th, 50th, and 95th percentile workers based on anthropometric data tables, were included in the study. Functional limitation was measured using electro-goniometers and the maximum frontal functional reach (MFFR) evaluation to measure the difference in joint angles, forces plates were used to study the differences in postural stability, and EMG was used to evaluate the muscle recruitment of the soleus, frontal deltoid, and trapezius muscles. Also, a regression analysis was performed to evaluate if production efficiency rate could be predicted based on body mass index (BMI) group, gender, pace type, workstation configuration and 13 body dimensions. The results revealed that the body joint angles and muscle activation parameters were not significantly different based on the main factor BMI groups; however, significant differences were found in the two-way interactions of the BMI groups and the other factors. In regard to postural stability, the results indicated that the obese class 2 and obese class 3 groups anterior posterior sway was significantly larger than the normal weight groups. The results also revealed differences based on gender for the joint angles and muscle activation when performing the small part assemblies; however, postural sway was not affected by gender differences. Pace type (self –paced or timed-paced) significantly affected the postural stability and muscle activation when performing the work task. These differences in pace type were most prevalent when comparing the 95th percentile workstation configuration against the 5th percentile workstation configuration. In regards to productivity, gender, weight, waist-to-hip ratio and pace type seem to have a large role in the production efficiency rate. Even though an individual's BMI and the workstation layout were found to impact the body functional limitation and stability, the results showed that it doesn't affect production efficiency rate performance.