Summaries of Our Applied Research: Miscellaneous
Summary: Text-message distraction while driving has been associated with an alarming and growing number of injuries and fatalities. This study identified potential biomechanical indications that could potentially serve as a warning with the intent of reducing crashes from texting. It may be useful to take into account both temporal and biomechanical measures when considering warning systems to detect texting distraction.
Summary: Discomfort has been studied extensively in order to enhance the seating design process. However, biomechanical and physiological responses relative to subjective discomfort have been largely ignored in the literature. Considering these responses along with anthropometry may provide insight into why a specific individual reports a seat as uncomfortable. This study provides preliminary evidence that a few anthropometric factors play a role in physiological responses of the body during prolonged sitting. The interaction between anthropometry and sitting appears to initiate physiological responses that are associated with changes in discomfort reporting.
Summary: Prolonged standing is common in many industrial workplaces, as are worker complaints of back and leg discomfort from this. Mats are often provided to relieve this fatigue, but there is no quantitative evidence that they relieve leg and back fatigue. In this study, subjects stood on a concrete surface and on each of two mats (Mat 1 – 8 mm thick, 0.55 mm compression, 6.9% compression; Mat 2 – 22 mm thick, 0.49 mm compression, 2.2% compression) for prolonged periods of time. Spectral electromyographic analyses indicated that mats reduced localized muscle fatigue only in the back (erector spinae muscle). Further, this fatigue reduction occurred only with the more compressible mat (Mat 1). These results imply that localized muscular leg fatigue may not be relieved with “anti-fatigue” mats, and some of these mats only benefit the back.