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The effect of seated whole-body vibration on standing balance.

Cornelius KM; Redfern MS
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 15-21, 1993, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1993 May; :46
Operators of underground mobile equipment frequently are exposed to prolonged whole-body vibration (WBV). The extent of immediate and cumulative effects on the operator has not been fully determined. Of particular concern is the possible contribution of WBV to accidents in which the operator falls during egress from mining equipment. The focus of this study is the effect of WBV on standing balance control as measured by postural sway testing. An experiment was conducted on six healthy male subjects between the ages of 22 - 45 (mean age = 33.8 yrs. +/-8.3 std. dev.). Independent variables included vibration (vibration or no vibration) and eyes (open or closed). The measured dependent variables were postural sway and velocity of sway. Subjects were exposed to 40 minutes of vibration generated by a motion platform, which emulated actual vibration levels of an operating underground shuttle car. Each subject performed four trials, one trial per day, within one week. The subject's center of pressure was measured while standing on a force platform for 120 seconds before and after the treatment. Results of this study found no effect of vibration on postural sway or velocity. These results suggest that WBV exposure does not affect the postural control system during stance. Fall injuries from vehicle egress would therefore be most likely due to other factors such as changes in foot placement accuracy or egress system design.
Vibration; Vibration-exposure; Age-groups; Mining-equipment; Underground-mining; Chronic-exposure; Acute-exposure; Humans; Men
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 132-93
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 15-21, 1993, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division