Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Jack F. Wasserman

Committee Members

Richard J. Jendrucko, J. A. M. Boulet


Low back pain is a common occupational effect of the long term driving of vehicles. The sonoSens® Monitor ultrasonic device was utilized to model lumbar spinal motions while driving a tractor trailer. Further data was collected to determine if acceleration from a seat pad and EMG data correlated with the driver’s movements.

Three testing bouts were completed and analyzed for this study. For each test the driver drove a 1998 Peterbuilt 379 fitted with a National Seating 2000 seat. One driver was used for all three tests.

Data analysis was accomplished with the sonoSens® Analyzer and Microsoft® Excel software. The sonoSens® Analyzer software produced graphs of the spinal motion of the driver. These graphs were visually analyzed for motion trends and increased movement of the lumbar region.

The sonoSens® Monitor is ideal for determining motion and posture of the lumbar region over periods of time. Acceleration and EMG data was found not to correlate with a driver’s movements while driving.

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