Evaluation of upper body kinematics and muscle activity during milking attachment task

Sakiko Oyama, Araceli Sosa, Rebekah Campbell, Catherine Ortega, David I. Douphrate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of udder height on upper body kinematics and muscle activity during a simulated attachment task in a parallel parlor set up, and the effects of udder access method (back or side) on the task biomechanics. Twenty males performed the task under conditions that simulated three udder heights and two udder access methods. The muscular load and kinematics during the task confirmed that milking is a physically demanding task. Trunk flexion angle increased with decreasing udder height, and the erector spinae activation was higher when the udder was below shoulder height compared to at or above. Compared to accessing the udder from side of the cow (herringbone parlor style), accessing from behind (Parallel parlor style) was associated with lower trunk flexion, greater shoulder horizontal adduction, lower shoulder elevation, and greater anterior deltoid activation. Milking in herringbone parlor style and with the udder at or above shoulder level may help reduce strain on the trunk/neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Dairy farm
  • Ergonomics
  • Scapular kinematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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