Body stress due to poor design (chafing or the weight of the exoskeleton), getting the exoskeleton caught on farming equipment, mechanical failure and fall risks are key concerns for users and may limit adoption.
There is significant potential for negative unintended consequences on the user from wearing an exoskeleton. As an exoskeleton changes the way the body moves, there is potential for exoskeletons to replace established musculoskeletal disorders with new musculoskeletal disorders. Wearing exoskeletons can make users less flexible, as natural movement is constrained by the exoskeleton, and less consistent due to changes to the loadings to different parts of the body. It can also decrease the wearers natural balance. Furthermore, exoskeletons interfere with the wearers biotensegrity network. The rigidity of exoskeletons increases the standardisation of human movements, which contradicts the body’s natural tendency have variety with movement.
Musculoskeletal disorders are more likely to occur as a result of long periods of repetitive actions while wearing an exoskeleton. By contrast, accidents can be more likely to occur during the occasional wearing of exoskeletons. Considerable care should be taken with development and use of exoskeletons to minimise accidents and unintended consequences.