The study investigated short and longer duration effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities (muscle activity, dexterity, touch sensitivity, finger pinch and forearm torque strength) and subjective assessments of discomfort and ease of manipulation when performing a light assembly task. The independent variables were hand condition with four levels (wearing cotton, nylon or nitrile gloves as well as barehanded) and point of time within the 2 h duration of the task (with measurements taken at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min). Participants worked with a screwdriver to fit two components together using screws. Wearing gloves significantly increased the muscle activity, pinch strength and discomfort but reduced the dexterity and touch sensitivity. There was also a significant effect of task time on the muscle activity, dexterity, forearm torque strength and touch sensitivity, which indicates that the duration of the task should be an important consideration in glove evaluation studies and in the selection of work gloves.
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- assembly task
- hand performance capability
- work duration