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Comfort and discomfort in using hand tools : the hand tool -user -task intervention

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Author: Kuijt-Evers, L.F.M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Oxford
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Pikaar, R.N.Koningsveld, E.A.P.Settels, P.J.M., IEA 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics"
Identifier: 278259
Keywords: Ergonomics · Arbeidsproductiviteit


The term comfort is very often used for marketing purposes in selling hand tools. Additionally, ergonomists and designers strive to avoid discomfort experience for end-users when using their product. However, there is no consensus about what comfort and discomfort mean in using hand tools. This paper gives an overview of recent studies which are conducted on this topic. The theory on comfort/discomfort in using hand tools is described based on a comfort model which illustrates the relation between hand tool-user-task. It was concluded that comfort was influenced by the interaction between hand tool-user-task and that in contradiction with comfort in sitting, discomfort affects the comfort experience. Hence, the comfort and discomfort definition is different for different kind of products.