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Ergonomics. 2011 Dec;54(12):1214-27. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2011.624200.

The vibration of inclined backrests: perception and discomfort of vibration applied parallel to the back in the z-axis of the body.

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  • 1Human Factors Research Unit, Institute of Sound and Vibration Research , University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.


This study determined how backrest inclination and the frequency of vibration influence the perception and discomfort of vibration applied parallel to the back (vertical vibration when sitting upright, horizontal vibration when recumbent). Subjects experienced backrest vibration at frequencies in the range 2.5 to 25 Hz at vibration magnitudes up to 24 dB above threshold. Absolute thresholds, equivalent comfort contours, and the principal locations for feeling vibration were determined with four backrest inclinations: 0° (upright), 30°, 60° and 90° (recumbent). With all backrest inclinations, acceleration thresholds and equivalent comfort contours were similar and increased with increasing frequency at 6 dB per octave (i.e. velocity constant). It is concluded that backrest inclination has little effect on the frequency dependence of thresholds and equivalent comfort contours for vibration applied along the back, and that the W (d) frequency weighting in current standards is appropriate for evaluating z-axis vibration of the back at all backrest inclinations. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: To minimise the vibration discomfort of seated people, it is necessary to understand how discomfort varies with backrest inclination. It is concluded that the vibration on backrests can be measured using a pad between the backrest and the back, so that it reclines with the backrest, and the measured vibration evaluated without correcting for the backrest inclination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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