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Muscle Health, Assessing not Guessing with Isokinetic Dynamometry

One of the most underused applications by businesses with physically demanding jobs is the use of isometric muscle strength tests. This method is ideal for assessing the strength of new hire applicants, incumbent workers, and injured workers, ensuring that their Muscle Health aligns with the physical responsibilities of the job.


What’s the problem with manual muscle testing?

The standard manual muscle test lacks objectivity. What one professional tester might rate as 3/5 could be considered 5/5 by another tester (and let's not even get started on the ± designation). Another major issue with testing muscles manually is the difference between the muscles we're assessing and the muscles we're using to assess them. A 5/5 rating means the individual can hold against maximal resistance, but the maximal force one tester provides with their deltoid and triceps cannot match the strength of the quadriceps. This leads to the possibility of a hidden strength deficit due to the limitations of the testing "equipment." A mechanical isokinetic dynamometer eliminates these variables.



Muscle Health Testing for Baselining

The isometric test is valuable for assessing baseline strength and identifying deficits in a variety of individuals. This test allows for the measurement of force output without placing excessive stress on the individual's body. It is a precise, computerized muscle test that eliminates the margin of error associated with manual testing.


Muscle Health Testing for Progress and Sustainability

Testing employees periodically throughout their careers can provide valuable insights into their capabilities and help reduce the risk of injuries caused by declining muscle health. A question would be whether the employee still meets the job's minimum physical requirements three years later. Isokinetic testing and a personalized exercise plan can greatly benefit both the employee and the employer. Regular progress testing can clearly show whether the employee is improving and identify any remaining strength deficits that require further attention.


Muscle Health Testing for Return to Work

Utilizing isometric testing to determine the necessary time and protocols for a safe return to work is crucial for the well-being of employees. Comparing the baseline test results to current test results is also an effective and objective way to assess whether an employee has fully recovered their pre-injury strength before resuming work.


If your organization is not familiar with the injury prevention and cost-saving benefits of using isometric testing for your workforce, you're missing out on a powerful tool to optimize workforce efficiency. If you want to learn how to implement isometric Muscle Health testing into your organization, contact DataFit for a free Muscle Health Consultation.

About the author

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP has over 25+ years of experience in the medical, health, wellness, and professional sports industries. Clinician turned business developer, Philip is a sought-after industry speaker and professional consultant. His ground-breaking work in injury prevention, paired with the science of human movement, has put him at the forefront of product development with a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physiology, biomechanics, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven research.