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FIGURE 10.1 A conceptual model of the possible roles and influences that various factors may play in the development of musculoskeletal disorders. The dotted box outline on the right indicates the possible pathways and processes that could occur within the person, including the biomechanical load-tolerance relationship and the factors that may mediate the load-tolerance relationship, such as individual factors and adaptation. Outcomes may be a result of this relationship and may be influenced by individual factors, such as conditioning or psychological state. The dotted box on the left indicates the possible influences of the workplace on the sequence of events that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders in the person. Arrows between “the workplace” factors and “the person” box indicate the various research disciplines (epidemiology, biomechanics, physiology, etc.) that have attempted to explain the relationship. For example, epidemiology typically searches for associations between external loading characteristics and reported outcomes, whereas the relationship between external loads and biomechanical loading is usually explored via biomechanical studies (adapted from National Research Council, 1999b).

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