A review on assessment techniques for workers' physical and mental conditions by physiological measurements

Kenichi Takano, Akihiko Nagasaka, Kenji Yoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It was only a several decades ago that physiological measurements were recognized as effective indicators of human physical and mental conditions in occupational health or ergonomics. The recent rapid progress in sensor and signal processing techniques, however, made these available for practical evaluation techniques. This paper is an overview of the accumulated techniques in several fields including experimental psychology, physiology, medical sciences, and ergonomics. The major topics described herein are as follows: 1) properties and merits of physiological measurements compared with the other techniques, 2) applicability of various physiological indicators evaluated from noninvasive, ambulatory and continuous monitoring techniques, 3) practical physiological measurements and signal processing systems which can be applied at actual workplaces and environment, 4) effective and useful evaluation techniques of physiological indicators such as ECG, blood pressure, respiratory parameters, EEG, EBP, EMG, body movements, body temperature, perspiration, eye movements, CFF and electrodermal activities. Our review of 235 published papers has shown that physiological measurements have made a significant contribution to the assessment of physical and mental workload, CNS (central nervous system) activity level and work performance. However, further studies should be mede on detail mechanisms and individual variations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-115
Number of pages21
JournalSangyo Igaku
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • arousal
  • assessment
  • human performance
  • measurement technique
  • occupational health
  • physiological indicator
  • signal processing
  • worker
  • workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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