Towards Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Local Fashion Designers in South-Western Nigeria
Local fashion designers (FaDes) are faced with the daunting task of sewing clothes. Sitting position, a reflection of the type of chair used, is one factor influencing their performance. This study evaluated the currently used FaDes chair and the effect of sitting posture. It also designed and fabricated an improved fashion designer (IFaDes) chair. Assessment of the ergonomic status of the FaDes chair was carried out and anthropometric data were obtained using a structured questionnaire among 375 apprentices and 125 managers. Percentile distributions of data were analyzed using statistical package for the social sciences. The survey yielded 88% response rate of which the majority reported to have experienced various difficulties with the FaDes chairs. Neck, leg, hand, waist and back pains were commonly reported with waist pain as the most prevalent (75.5%). The anthropometric data with the percentiles (5th -90th) were popliteal (36.30-53.00 cm) and buttock height (14.95-33.00 cm), seat (22.00- 33.00 cm) and buttock breadth (19.00-30.00 cm), and buttock-popliteal length (35.00- 49.49 cm), among others. Using these data, the IFaDes chair’s design was conceptualized through Solidworks; it was then fabricated using locally available materials. The provision of backrest to supports user’s torso was an added feature. Qualitative evaluation of the IFaDes chair was employed using the same respondents for a minimum of 168 h. The respondents reported that the IFaDes chair was satisfactorily designed and fabricated. They experienced improved comforts in sitting posture and reduced musculoskeletal disorders.