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Appl Ergon. 2012 Sep;43(5):813-20. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.12.002. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Relationships between psychophysically acceptable and maximum voluntary hand force capacity in the context of underlying biomechanical limitations.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada N2L 3G1.


This research investigated if proportional relationships between psychophysically acceptable and maximum voluntary hand forces are dependent on the underlying biomechanical factor (i.e. whole body balance or joint strength) that limited the maximum voluntary hand force. Eighteen healthy males completed two unilateral maximal exertions followed by a 30 min psychophysical load-adjust protocol in each of nine pre-defined standing scenarios. Center of pressure (whole body balance) and joint moments (joint strength) were calculated to evaluate whether balance or joint strength was most likely limiting maximum voluntary hand force. The ratio of the psychophysically acceptable force to the maximal force was significantly different depending on the underlying biomechanical factor. Psychophysically acceptable hand forces were selected at 86.3 ± 19.7% of the maximum voluntary hand force when limited by balance (pulling exertions), 67.5 ± 15.2% when limited by joint strength (downward pressing) and 78 ± 23% when the limitation was undefined in medial exertions.

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