The implementation of motor learning principles in designing prevention programs at work

Tal Jarus, Navah Z. Ratzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Occupational therapy practitioners offer services to workers in the workplace to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), to help the injured worker restore function, and to recover capacities needed to return to the job. Despite the existence of some evidence about the efficacy of prevention programs, there is uncertainty and even disagreement among health professionals, about the outcome of prevention programs for people with MSDs. It is proposed that principles of motor learning can assist the therapist in structuring prevention programs to facilitate the workers learning of correct movement patterns. This paper discusses basic concepts of motor learning emphasizing characteristics of the learner, the type of task, the structure of practice and application to prevention programs at work settings. We present a four-stage model for prevention programs based on principles of both motor learning and ergonomics. This model coincides with the broad perspective suggested in current occupational therapy models which focuses on the person, the environment, the occupation and their effects on occupational performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalWork
Volume24
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

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