This paper presents a computer-aided environment to analyze postures and movements in order to ergonomically validate the design of potentially any device a man or woman may have to deal with. The proposed environment integrates virtual prototyping techniques with Digital Human Modeling and Motion Capture techniques to determine fatigue, stress and risk for workers’ health. We considered a vertical refrigerated display unit as case study to analyze the interaction of supermarket staff filling the shelves with goods with the main goal determining the suitability of operators’ working condition and, eventually, providing a feedback to the design step.

The paper, after a brief description of the state of the art of the Motion Capture system and Digital Human Modeling, presents the architecture of the integrated environment developed and the working paradigm. At last preliminary results of the experimentation as well benefits and the limits of the outcomes achieved so far in the automation of ergonomics in machines design are presented.

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