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Appl Ergon. 2015 May;48:224-31. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.12.005. Epub 2015 Jan 3.

A comparison of instrumentation methods to estimate thoracolumbar motion in field-based occupational studies.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. Electronic address: mark-schall@uiowa.edu.
2
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Abstract

The performance of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) system for directly measuring thoracolumbar trunk motion was compared to that of the Lumbar Motion Monitor (LMM). Thirty-six male participants completed a simulated material handling task with both systems deployed simultaneously. Estimates of thoracolumbar trunk motion obtained with the IMU system were processed using five common methods for estimating trunk motion characteristics. Results of measurements obtained from IMUs secured to the sternum and pelvis had smaller root-mean-square differences and mean bias estimates in comparison to results obtained with the LMM than results of measurements obtained solely from a sternum mounted IMU. Fusion of IMU accelerometer measurements with IMU gyroscope and/or magnetometer measurements was observed to increase comparability to the LMM. Results suggest investigators should consider computing thoracolumbar trunk motion as a function of estimates from multiple IMUs using fusion algorithms rather than using a single accelerometer secured to the sternum in field-based studies.

KEYWORDS:

Inertial measurement; Manual handling; Musculoskeletal disorders

PMID:
25683549
DOI:
10.1016/j.apergo.2014.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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