Appl Ergon 2012 Nov; 43(6):1008-1015
A number of work environments require workers to perform tasks on inclined surfaces. Such tasks, along with muscle fatigue, can impair postural control and increase falling risks. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of surface inclination angle, standing direction, and lumbar extensor fatigue on postural control during quiet standing. A group of 16 young, healthy participants were tested while standing on inclined surfaces before and after lumbar extensor fatigue (induced by repetitive isotonic exercise). Three inclination angles (0°, 18° and 26°) and three standing directions (uphill, downhill, and lateral facing) were examined. Postural control was assessed using several measures derived from center-of-pressure time series and subjectively perceived stability. Significant main and interactive effects of inclination angle and standing direction were found for all dependent measures. The adverse effects of standing on inclined surfaces were found to differ between the three standing directions. In general, dose-response relationships with inclination angle were evident, particularly in the lateral-facing direction. Fatigue-related effects differed between conditions, suggesting that the adverse effect of lumbar extensor fatigue on postural control depend on inclination angle and standing direction. These findings may facilitate the development of fall prevention interventions for work involving inclined surfaces.
Musculoskeletal-system; Ergonomics; Muscle-function; Muscle-physiology; Fatigue; Posture; Task-performance; Physiological-fatigue; Physiological-effects; Biomechanics; Body-regions; Injury-prevention; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Fall-protection; Surface-properties; Adolescents;
Author Keywords: Postural control; Balance; Muscle fatigue; Inclined surface
Maury A. Nussbaum, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 250 Durham Hall (0118), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University