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Anthropometric changes among U.S. truck drivers.

Guan-J; Bradtmiller-B; Hsiao-H; Spahr-JS
Proceedings of the 17th World Congress on Ergonomics (IEA2009), Beijing, China, August 9-14, 2009. Madison, WI: International Ergonomics Association, 2009 Aug; :1-4
The purpose of this study is to collect up-to-date anthropometric data for the current truck driver population in the U.S. These data will be applied to the design of ergonomically efficient truck cabs that are more comfortable and safer to operate. A team of anthropometrists measured 914 male and female, over-the-road truckers for 33 anthropometric dimensions (and two shoe dimensions) at 7 locations around the U.S., using a sampling plan designed to capture the appropriate racial/ethnic and age distribution of the truck driver population. This presentation reports on the data obtained from the 805 male truckers in the study. Analysis of the data shows that not only are these truckers different from the U.S. civilian population, but that they are significantly different from truckers measured 25-30 years ago. Of the 10 dimensions that were comparably measured, 8 were statistically different on the mean (at a = 0.05, using Bonferroni's correction to a = 0.005). More importantly, the male 95th percentile dimensions, which are typically used in workspace design, are different by substantial amounts. For example, the 95th percentile of seated abdominal depth-important for placing the steering wheel with respect to the seatback - increased by 72 mm. Forearm-forearm breadth, important in overall seat width and lateral placement of the seat with respect to the door, increased by 138 mm at the 95th percentile. Overall body weight, which is critical for structural seat design, increased by 23 kg at the 95th percentile. These results confirm an earlier study by Hsiao et a!. (2002) showing that occupational groups are often different from the general population. Thus it would be inappropriate to update truck driver anthropometry based on general U.S. civilian data. More importantly, the results demonstrate that using older data for truck cab design will result in cabs that do not accommodate the current population of U.S. truck drivers.
Transportation-industry; Transportation-workers; Truck-drivers; Trucking; Drivers; Anthropometry
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities
Source Name
Proceedings of the 17th World Congress on Ergonomics (IEA2009), Beijing, China, August 9-14, 2009
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division