An ergonomic and performance study of the Microflex XCEED Nitrile glove was completed to determine if it met appropriate thresholds to receive Ergonomic Product Certification. The XCEED glove was compared to barehanded use and included a competitive assessment against the Generic Nitrile glove.
The study was completed using experienced laboratory workers and dental hygienists whose work required them to wear gloves on a daily basis. Testing included a combination of controlled laboratory tests in addition to extended use of the product in the test participants’ working environments.
Laboratory testing methods included a combination of objective and subjective measurement based techniques, these included
- Muscle effort using electromyography
- Dynamic wrist postures using electrogoniometry
- Tactile response testing using aesthesiometer
- Hand range of motion testing
- Baseline musculoskeletal stress surveys
- Hand anthropometric measures
- Structured numerically based surveys to assess a range of performance, fit, and comfort criteria
Field based testing involves the distribution of product to 20 test participants and the collection of daily performance surveys over a 30 day trial period.
The results indicated that the Microflex XCEED Nitrile gloves performed very positively in both the laboratory and field based testing with regard to all of the metrics considered. A summary of several relevant findings are as follows:
- At the completion of a 1-month test trial, professional glove users (dental hygienists and laboratory workers) rated the Microflex XCEED glove between 8.8 and 9.1 out of a possible 10 (Excellent). Criteria included performance, fit, comfort, tactile sensitivity, ease of on/off, thermal comfort and grip security.
- At the completion of a 1-month test trial a majority of the test participants (81.3%) indicated that the Microflex XCEED gloves were “Somewhat better” to “Much better” than the gloves they were previously wearing.
- Muscle effort measurements revealed the Microflex XCEED glove performed as good, or better, than the bare hand in the performance of postural tasks. In some postural tests, the Microflex glove resulted in significantly lower (p<0.05) effort than the bare handed condition.
- When assessing the effort to complete the test tasks participants perceived many tasks to require less effort while wearing the Microflex XCEED Nitrile gloves in comparison to completing the tasks barehanded.
The Microflex XCEED glove far our performed the Generic Nitrile glove across all of the tests performed. The Microflex XCEED glove tested better for:
- Tactile sensitivity
- Muscle effort during task performance
- Perceived exertion ratings by participants
- Product performance ratings by test participants
All (100%) of the dental hygienists and lab workers participating in the controlled laboratory testing indicated they preferred the XCEED glove to the Generic Nitrile glove.
As a result of the measurable and very positive test results for the Microflex XCEED glove, it has been awarded with the United States Ergonomics, Ergonomic Product Certification.