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Design and validation of a horizontally dynamic armrest

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Title: Design and validation of a horizontally dynamic armrest
Author: Boucher, Danielle Rose
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Oliver, Michele
Abstract: Joystick operators often experience constant low level upper limb loading when using joysticks which can lead to repetitive strain injuries. It has been hypothesized that these injuries can be reduced by supporting the arm during joystick manipulation. The purpose of this work was to design and validate a horizontally dynamic armrest addition. The armrest design followed the motion of the forearm during side-to-side joystick movements. The design was validated using EMG, motion capture, and a questionnaire. Results indicated that the dynamic armrest successfully reduced anterior deltoid and extensor carpi radialis muscle activation (p≤0.01). Though not significantly, muscle activity was also reduced in the upper trapezius and flexor carpi radialis. Most joint angles were not significantly altered when comparing the dynamic armrest to a stationary armrest or no armrest (except wrist pronation-supination, p≤0.01), and most subjects preferred the dynamic armrest overall to a stationary armrest or no armrest (p≤0.05).
Date: 2012-12
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