Ergonomics. 2023 Mar 15:1-28. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2023.2191908. Online ahead of print.
Quantifying the trunk flexion angles at which wearable support systems (exoskeletons/exosuits) provide substantial trunk extension moment during posture maintenance tasks (such as those seen in surgical environments) can provide a deeper understanding of this potential intervention strategy. Understanding how time (i.e., adaptation/learning) might impact the reliance on wearable support is also of value. Sixteen participants were asked to maintain specific trunk flexion angles (range 0°- 60°) with and without an exosuit system while erector spinae and rectus abdominis muscle activity were captured using surface electromyography. The effects of the exosuit showed a statistically significant (p < 0.007) effect on the activity of the erector spinae muscles at 10°-60° – an effect that became ‘large’ (Cohen’s d = 0.87) after 20° of trunk flexion. There were no meaningful time-dependent trends in the levels of muscle activation indicating there was no adaptation/learning effect of the exosuit in the task studied.
PMID:36921063 | DOI:10.1080/00140139.2023.2191908