RESEARCH PAPER
Comparative determination of physical stress and strain on milkers in milking parlours on dairy farms in Upper Austria, using ECG, an activity sensor and spirometer
 
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1
Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Division of Agricultural Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2
University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2017;24(2):294–298
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
To-date, the impact of modern milking parlors in dairy farming on physical strain has not been the subject of many studies. Therefore, this case study aims to record and evaluate the physical strain during the entire milking process, including the oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR) and metabolic rate (WkJ, Watt) of milkers. The recording was conducted with a portable respiratory gas analysis system and an ECG and activity sensor on 4 dairy farms in Austria. Eight subjects aged from 45–52 years, with a mean age 50±2.4 SD, participated and the data were recorded during the milking process in 2 types of milking parlours. For assessment, the entire milking process was divided into preparation, milking and follow-up work. The entire milking process was performed with an average oxygen consumption of 46.5 l/h and a heart rate of 98 bpm, which is below the anaerobic threshold; whereas in the preparation and follow-up work, this threshold was exceeded. Generally, during the milking process, a moderate physical strain (32.4%) and a balanced metabolic rate (143 watt/m2) were determined. The physical strain in female milkers was 9.2% higher than in male milkers throughout the entire process. Reduction of physical strain can be achieved through additional breaks, reduced work speed, division of labour and technical devices.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Elisabeth Quendler   
Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Division of Agricultural Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
 
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ISSN:1232-1966