Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Jack F. Wasserman

Committee Members

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

Abstract

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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