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OCCUPATIONAL ECOLOGY. Study of the worker, his environment and the interaction of worker with environment. The occupational ecologist is interested in matching man and environment for optimal ergonomic efficiency (q.v.) and minimal disturbance to the environment.
OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE. The medical specialty concerned with the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of disease commonly observed in industrial environments. These include the diseases and/or accidents which are primarily associated with particular occupations.
OCULOGRAM. Recording of overall eye movement patterns, obtained by electromyographic observation of the rectus lateralis muscles of both eyes. Instantaneous readout of the position of sight focus within the visual field can be shown if instruments are properly calibrated.
OLECRANON FOSSA. A depression in the back of the lower end of the humerus in which the ulna (q.v.) bone rest when the arm is straight.
OLECRANON PROCESS. The elbow bone. A part of the ulna which makes up the bony point of the elbow, best felt when the arm is bent. An important anatomical reference point (q.v.).
ORIGIN (MUSCLE). The anatomic point of attachment of the non-moving end of a muscle to a bone. When the muscle contracts it brings an associated body segment toward the origin. The origin is at the proximal (q.v.) end of the muscle.
ORTHOAXIS. The true anatomical axis about which a limb rotates as opposed to the assumed axis. The assumed axis is usually the most obvious or geometric one, while the orthoaxis is less evident and can only be referenced by the use of anatomical landmarks.
ORTHOCENTRE. The instantaneous anatomical center about which a limb rotates. It varies with the angle of rotation and can fall outside the physical limits of the joint involved.
ORTHOSIS. A device applied externally or internally, to control or enhance human limb movement, or prevent bone deformity. May take the form of splints, or self-help devices for the disabled.
OSCILLOGRAPH. A electrical recording device which yields a permanent trace of an electrical signal. The recording may be produced by pen and ink on standard paper, pressure stylus on waxed paper, heated stylus on heat-sensitive paper, or a light beam on light-sensitive paper. A good oscillographic recorder will not distort the signal which is being recorded. Used in electromyography (q.v.), cardiography (q.v.), etc.
OVERLOAD PRINCIPLE. The principle which states that when a system is saturated by the requirements of a performance task, it fails to function entirely. Two pertinent examples of this principle are found in the functioning of muscle groups under excess load and the ability to process information when the information load becomes too large.
OVERT LIFTING TASK. Lifting and manipulation of substantial loads as opposed to the covert lifting task (q.v.). The stresses which are generated are resisted by the vertebral column and the erector spinae muscles of the trunk and back.
OXYGEN DEBT. Quantitative expression of the amount of oxygen necessary for physiological combustion and elimination of the by-products of anaerobic metabolism (q.v.).
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