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VU Amsterdam, September 4, 2015

This abstract contains results from a Bachelor of Science end project performed at the Department of Human Movement Sciences of the VU Amsterdam. The project was set up as a pilot- study, aimed at the recording of muscle responses through EMG in experienced waiters.
The DevanTray is a round serving tray, which in contrast to standard trays, has a series of circular ridges on its bottom. These ridges are designed to provide more grip and stimulate the waiter to carry the tray on her / his fingers in an active fashion, i.e. in an active grip. The hypothesized advantages of the DevanTray are:

  • reduction of stress on the shoulders;
  • higher stability;
  • lower stress on finger and wrist joints.

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Results

The amplitudes for the Trapezius descending part were not different between trays over the one-minute period, but the difference between the end and begin of the one- minute interval was:

The amplitude rose stronger for the normal tray: Despite the large standard deviations, this difference between the trays was significant, indicating that the trapezius fatigues less when using the DevanTray.

As in the condition where the tray is carried on the palm of the hand, the wrist is extremely flexed, this activity is a serious risk factor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and therefore indicative for the need to carry a tray on one’s fingers.
In conclusion this pilot study indicated that the use of the DevanTray leads to less fatigue in the shoulders. In addition, results indicate that active carrying of a tray on one’s fingers is indicated, something the Devantray, through its design, invites the user to.

Note Devan:

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or pain in the body’s joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back. MSDs are degenerative diseases and inflammatory conditions that cause pain and impair normal activities.

MSDs are a frequent problem in the catering and hospitality industry. At Devan we plead for a more healthy, more safe and more efficient work environment.