Title page for ETD etd-04152004-125305

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Saidu, Milton Maada-Gormoh
Author's Email Address msaidu1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04152004-125305
Title Effects of Automobile Seating Posture on Trunk Muscle Activity
Degree Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (M.S.I.E.)
Department Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Fred Aghazadeh Committee Chair
Craig Harvey Committee Co-Chair
Bhaba Sarker Committee Member
  • root mean square (RMS)
  • electromyography (EMG)
  • Latissimus dorsi
Date of Defense 2004-02-06
Availability unrestricted
Reports for adult population indicate that almost 80% of the adult population has reported some form of lower back aches. Each year American workers suffer more than 300,000 lost-time injuries involving musculoskeletal disorders of the back, with the costs that run into billions of dollars.

Sedentary tasks are known to be major contributing factors of back pain. Prior studies have indicated that the myoelectric activity of the lumbar region decreases when the back rest inclination of a seat increased. An increase in seat pan inclination so that it increases pressure on the leg muscles is also a cause for back pain. Seating posture is also known to be a leading cause of back pain. This study focuses on the response of the latissimus dorsi muscle in the trunk, to the backrest and seat angle inclinations for different seating postures.

Twenty one participants took part in the backrest experiment. The automobile seat backrest angle was varied for two angles of 90 and 100 degrees in a one hour driving session. Ten participants took part in the seat angle experiment; the seat was set at 0 and 10 degrees for a 30 minutes session at each angle. The muscle activity of the latissimus dorsi was recorded for seating postures at each angle.

Based on the electromyography data, the results of analyses of variance for mean of root mean square values for the backrest experiment (P < 0.05) showed significant change. In seat angle experiment the analysis of variation of the mean values for root mean square values at (P < 0.05) was significant. It is concluded that increased backrest and inclined seat angle decreases muscle activity in the latissimus dorsi muscle.

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