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Effects of multi-axial whole body vibration on postural stability

Motivation

Mining heavy equipment vehicle operators suffer from the highest occupational injury rates and prevalence including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and fall-related injuries. Previous work has established that prolonged exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) is associated with reduced postural stability, and that this may increase a risk of MSDs and fall-related injuries.

Approach

Our work will systematically assess postural stability associated with multi-axial WBV exposure in mining heavy equipment vehicles and evaluate the effectiveness of different new engineering interventions to reduce multi-axial WBV. We will be using measures such as functional limits of stability, standing balance and anticipatory postural adjustments preceding functional tasks such as level-ground walking and stair walking.