n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Peak expiratory flow rate in female brick-field workers of West Bengal, India : research article

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) is a globally accepted tool to test ventilatory capacity and for diagnosis, management and follow up of respiratory diseases. The brick-field industry is an important industrial area throughout the world, but there is a lack of ergonomic input in industrially developing regions. Examination of health and hygiene among the brick-field workers is often neglected although it is a prime industry to improve efficiency and productivity. The present investigation was aimed to: (i) evaluate and compare the PEFR values of female workers engaged brick building jobs, and (ii) to develop prediction norms for PEFR in this population. PEFR was measured by Peak Flow Meter in 93 healthy non-smoking female brick-field workers of West Bengal, India. The age range of 20-39 years was subdivided into 20-29 years and 30-39 years. They were further categorized depending on the nature of job performed. Statistical treatment of data by ANOVA, correlation and regression analysis revealed no significant variation in PEFR in different types of job performers, except in the case of "puddlers" of the older age groups. Comparison of data revealed that PEFR is higher than other sedentary female populations of different regions of India and well comparable with other overseas reports. Physical parameters exhibited significant correlation with PEFR and the derived multiple regression equation is recommended as a norm for prediction of PEFR among the female Indian brick-field workers, whereas simple regression equations may be used whenever necessary.

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