Edgar Delgado

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management

First Advisor

Dr. Ashraf M. Genaidy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In this study, physical stresses imposed on the different parts of the musculoskeletal system were assessed using a subjective ratings of perceived discomfort (RPD) scale in the meat industry. The effects of a microbreak system on the perceived discomfort of employees were studied. In addition, a comparison of human physical capacities (i.e., anthropometric, strength, and endurance measures) for Caucasian-American and Hispanic-Mexican employees in the meat industry was performed. These measures were also compared against those of employees engaged in manual material handling tasks. Twenty-eight employees participated in the study.

Based on this study, it can be concluded that: (a) RPD can be used to assess physical stresses and to evaluate the effect of microbreaks on human performance, (b) a microbreak system helps to reduce the perceived discomfort experienced by employees, and (c) the physical capacities for Hispanic-Mexican are lower than those for Caucasian- American.