Academic & Law Serials


Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.54 (5) (Sep - Oct, 2013) (439-446)


Preeti Nauriyal
Scientist (SS) Zonal Project Directorate, Zone-1, Ludhiana

K Oberoi
Scientist, Department of Family Resource Management, PAU, Ludhiana


Ergonomic stress level of women worker handling thread cones in the spinning industry were studied by involving 100 women worker in the age group of 18-30 years working in the spinning industry of Ludhiana. Ergonomic stress levels were studied in terms of cardiac stresses, energy expenditure, total cardiac cost of work and physiological cost of work during the activity. Cardiac stresses were recorded in terms of average and peak heart rate (bpm) with the help of heart rate monitor and average and peak energy expenditure were calculated from the regression equation. Total cardiac cost of work was calculated by adding of cardiac cost of work (CCW) and cardiac cost of recovery (CCR). And physiological cost of work was calculated by dividing total cardiac cost of work by total working hours of the worker. The results of the study showed that values of average and peak heart rate were high and above the acceptable limits of women worker posing serious physical problems. Similarly values of average and peak energy expenditure were found very high and above the permissible limits of women worker leading to serious physiological injuries to women worker. The values of average and peak heart rate and energy expenditure were however found low in winter season as compared to summer season, but these values still remained high and above the acceptable limits of women worker. The higher values of total cardiac cost of work were due to higher working heart rate and longer duration of working hours for the selected activity performed by the women worker. Physiological cost of work was found higher in summer due to higher total cardiac cost of work and longer duration of the activity. The scores of rated perceived exertion indicated that women worker perceived this activity as heavy activity. It was therefore recommended that to reduce the physiological stresses the women worker should be provided with additional rest pauses, limited working hours and improved tools and  devices.

Key words: Cardiac stress, perceived exertion, regression equation, average and peak heart rate, energy expenditure, and total cardiac cost of work.


Women constitute a significant proportion of the labour force. The majority of unorganized women worker (87%) was employed in household industries, petty trades and services, buildings and construction, etc. (India 2004). The top ten manufacturing industries that employ women are tobacco, cotton textiles, cashew nut processing, machine tools and parts, garments, grain mills, bakery, match boxes, explosives and fireworks, clay, glass cement, drugs and medicines and iron and steel, etc. Among these industries, the textile industries have a predominant presence in the Indian economy. These women worker while working in spinning industries adopt standing position for very long duration without frequent changes in postures. It leads to over-exertion and affects the health and well being of a person. This postural stress while working is the main reason for physiological problems (Pathak and Rana 2004).

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