Seated Human Response To Simple And Complex Impacts - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
Description:The human lumbar spine is inherently an unstable structure and requires sophisticated neuromuscular control to maintain its stability and for performing physical tasks. As a consequence, it is important to understand the potential health effects on human operators of mechanical stimuli such as shock and vibration.1 Impact applied to a vehicle operator combines the risk of sudden, unexpected load with the mechanical stress of the seated posture.2 Because many work environments contain the potential for multiple, unexpected impacts, it is important to understand how the trunk muscles respond to complex conditions. We believe the results have implications for isolation design and standards development. Methods Muscle activity was recorded during simple and complex impacts, applied randomly and without warning, while subjects sat on an air-suspension truck seat located on a man-rated 6-DOF motion platform (Rexroth-Hydraudyne). Simple (single) impacts consisted of 100 ms quarter-sine jolts in the side-to-side (L and R) and vertical upward (V) directions with peak amplitude at 0.4 g. Complex impacts consisted of combinations of two simple (single) impacts in sequence (LV, RV, VL, VR), separated by 100 ms. Twelve right-handed males (23.7 ± 7.8 years old) were tested without a blindfold under 2 posture conditions (supported while leaning back and unsupported, sitting upright) and 2 seat suspension conditions (present or absent). Each type of impact was repeated three times under each posture and suspension condition, resulting in 84 impacts in total. Surface EMG signals from the left and right erector spinae (ES), rectus abdominis (AR), external obliques (EO) and internal obliques (IO) were recorded and transformed to 25ms RMS values. The response time, defined as the time the muscle activity exceeded the mean + 2 STD of the pre-impact resting period, peak response amplitude, and time were then derived. A mixed-model repeated measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate statistical significance, where type I error rate was set at .05. Results One question we asked of these data was whether there were differences in responses related to simple single strike impacts (L, R, or V) and complex, double-strike impacts (LV, RV, VL, VR). There are 21 possible combinations of comparisons of simple and complex impacts to each other. The differences found are listed in Table 1.
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