Heart rate strain in cable hauler choker setters in New Zealand logging operations

Patrick M. Kirk, Mark J.M. Sullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the physical strain experienced by cable hauler choker setters, and the applicability of heart rate indices for measuring physical strain in commercial forest harvesting operations in New Zealand. The heart rate of four choker setters were recorded continuously throughout the working day and applied to heart rate indices. Based on the relative heart rate at work (%HRR), ratio of working heart rate to resting heart rate and 50% level indices, the mean working heart rate (HRw) of 106 bt. min-1 ±6.9 (mean±SD) placed choker setting in the moderate workload category. The specific tasks of line shifts (120.3±4.8 bt. min-1), hooking up drags (118.8±6.6 bt. min-1) and uphill travel (126.1±12.9 bt. min-1), imposed the most severe workloads on the choker setters. This research also demonstrated that heart rate indices could be used as an effective means of determining the physiological strain of subjects working in New Zealand's commercial forest harvesting operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-398
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Forestry
  • Heart rate
  • Workload


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