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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1991 Oct;52(10):417-22.

Effect of work load and respirator wear on postural stability, heart rate, and perceived exertion.

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1
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056.

Abstract

The effects on postural stability (sway) were investigated for different work loads under conditions of wearing a full facepiece respirator and not wearing any respiratory protection device. Fifteen subjects accomplished light (40 W), moderate (85 W), and heavy (125 W) work loads under the two conditions. Measurements of postural sway were made immediately after each load by using a multicomponent, strain gage-type force platform. Changes in each subject's movement pattern of the center of pressure were quantitated and compared to their initial baseline sway tests. Each subject's heart rate and perceived exertion were also recorded during each condition. A statistically significant effect (p = 0.007) caused by work load was observed for total length of sway with or without a respirator. An interaction approaching statistical significance (p = 0.056) between work load and respirator use was found. This indicated that sway increased more quickly and in a more consistently linear fashion with increasing work load under the respirator condition (p = 0.02) compared to the nonrespirator condition. The results from the respirator condition showed linear increases in postural sway length across the entire range of work loads, but sway length in the nonrespirator condition showed an increase only at 125-W work loads. The greater increase in sway during the postural balance test could be attributable to the increasing work load-induced proprioceptive fatigue effect on the nervous system's ability to process signals from proprioception systems incongruent with body sway. The heart rate was significantly higher during respirator wear (an increase in heart rate averaging 5.62 beats/min).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PMID:
1951051
DOI:
10.1080/15298669191364965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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