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The influence of seat backrest angle on human performance during whole-body vibration

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journal contribution
posted on 03.07.2013, 10:24 by G.S. Paddan, S.R. Holmes, Neil Mansfield, H. Hutchinson, C.I. Arrowsmith, S.K. King, R.J.M. Jones, Andrew N. Rimell
This study investigated the effects of reclined backrest angles on cognitive and psycho-motor tasks during exposure to vertical whole-body vibration. Twenty participants were each exposed to three test stimuli of vertical vibration: 2–8 Hz; 8–14 Hz and 14–20 Hz, plus a stationary control condition whilst seated on a vibration platform at five backrest angles: 0° (recumbent, supine) to 90° (upright). The vibration magnitude was 2.0 ms−2 root-mean-square. The participants were seated at one of the backrest angles and exposed to each of the three vibration stimuli while performing a tracking and choice reaction time tasks; then they completed the NASA-TLX workload scales. Apart from 22.5° seat backrest angle for the tracking task, backrest angle did not adversely affect the performance during vibration. However, participants required increased effort to maintain performance during vibration relative to the stationary condition. These results suggest that undertaking tasks in an environment with vibration could increase workload and risk earlier onset of fatigue.



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PADDAN, G.S. ... et al., 2012. The influence of seat backrest angle on human performance during whole-body vibration. Ergonomics, 55 (1), pp. 114 - 128.


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This article was published in the journal, Ergonomics [© Taylor & Francis] and the definitive version is available at: