The effect of hand dominance on manual arm strength
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In the design of manual work tasks, considering task demands in the context of human strength capability has been vital to assessing workplace musculoskeletal injury risk. This is particularly true for the upper extremities, which are often relied upon to produce manual forces in most occupational manufacturing tasks. Despite workers commonly utilizing both limbs in the workplace, the effect of hand dominance on any type of upper extremity strength is relatively underexplored. In several ergonomics models of strength capacity, the non-dominant hand is assumed to be approximately 10% weaker than the dominant hand, but this heuristic is primarily based on grip strength data and does not account for potential differences between handedness (i.e. left- vs right-handers) and sex (males vs females). As such, the purpose of this research is to examine how manual arm strength differs between the dominant and non-dominant limbs in a sample of right and left-handed males and females.