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Force Plate Balance Response of Seafarers during Still and Rough Sea Conditions

F. Gildenhuys and R. Dobson
Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Abstract—Seafarers are constantly exposed to varying ground reaction forces due to extreme weather conditions. These forces may lead to the progression of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries. The ground reaction forces of 18 subjects were measured, with Advanced Mechanical Technology Incorporation’s force plate, during still and rough sea conditions. In this study, each subject’s weight factor and Sway Index is compared for different test conditions. Weight factors varied between 1.46 and 0.66 of the normal body weight. A subject’s Sway Index measured during rough conditions is more than double their Sway Index measured during still conditions. It was noted that more than 70% of the subjects’ Sway Indexes were greater when facing the side of the ship as opposed to the front, during still and rough conditions. Body movement and postural response is increased in order to keep the body upright during rough sea conditions as opposed to still conditions. The long term effects caused to body joints, as a result of constant exposure to varying ground reaction forces, can be determined using the measured results.

Index Terms—balance, force plate, seafarers, sway index

Cite: F. Gildenhuys and R. Dobson, "Study of the Effect of Salt Stress on Biometric Characteristics of Barley: Hordeum Vulgare L. (Poaceae)," Journal of Medical and Bioengineering, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 275-279, August 2015. Doi: 10.12720/jomb.4.4.275-279
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