The development and evaluation of an ergonomic glove

A. Muralidhar, R. R. Bishu, M. S. Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The primary intent of this study was to determine if a hand glove could be designed on a criterion of selective protection. Force distribution patterns on the palmar side of hand were obtained from various studies to develop zones of hand that needed protection. A new design for gloves was developed based on the principle of selective protection, where protective material is introduced in varying levels over different parts of the glove, in order to provide protection where it is most needed, and at the same time preserve the desirable dexterity and strength capabilities of the barehand, optimizing the trade-off between protection and performance. Two pairs of prototype gloves incorporating different levels of protection were fabricated and tested using a battery of performance tests and an algometer test for pressure sensitivity. The test battery comprising four dexterity tasks and a maximal voluntary grip strength task was used to assess a number of glove conditions, including the two prototype gloves developed. The results indicate that the performance of the prototype gloves are comparable, and that the performance times for the double glove and the two prototype gloves tested were not significantly different. For the grip strength, the two prototype gloves were better than the double glove. The assembly task performance for the prototype II (laminar glove) was significantly lower than that of the other glove types tested. It appears that gloves of variable thickness can be developed to afford adequate protection at zones of most need. Glove manufacturers are recommended to use an ergonomic approach in the design of gloves. Such an approach, besides protecting the safety objective of gloves, could enhance productivity considerably.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-563
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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