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Research in Progress: Review of Tractor Seating Issues Related to Ergonomics of Difference C.S. Wilhite, University of New Mexico-School of Medicine W.E.

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Presentation on theme: "Research in Progress: Review of Tractor Seating Issues Related to Ergonomics of Difference C.S. Wilhite, University of New Mexico-School of Medicine W.E."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research in Progress: Review of Tractor Seating Issues Related to Ergonomics of Difference C.S. Wilhite, University of New Mexico-School of Medicine W.E. Field, Purdue University Funded Research-Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education, NIOSH-2U540H007541, CFDA # No other financial disclosures

2 Introduction Agricultural machinery technology is rapidly evolving. Design of seating, seat materials, and management of seated pressure largely unchanged. Current seating may not conform to the needs of people who vary by size, weight, posture, gender, or health status (ergonomics of difference). People with ergonomics of difference may have to incorporate after-market accommodations to fit themselves to the seating conditions. No research on risks/benefits of changing the dynamics of the seating system.

3 Example: AgrAbility Farmers with spinal cord injuries (SCI) – Access machinery with fabricated manlifts and operate machinery with hand controls – Paralysis create changes in sensation, motor function, circulation, and tissue health that can pre-dispose the person to skin tears, lacerations, and pressure-related ulcers – Most farmers with SCI select additional cushioning materials (WC cushions, egg-crate foam, sheepskins, etc.)

4 Research Purpose: – Test feasibility of mapping seated pressure on an average original equipment foam contour tractor seat, with and without intervention wheelchair cushions Subjects: – Convenience sampling – Inclusion: Person with SCI, no current unstable decubitus ulcer – 5 Male, 3 Female (age ranges years) – The University of New Mexico- Health Sciences Center Institutional Review Board (# ) approved the research.

5 Research Methods – Mixed methods, single- subjects with repeated measures Instruments – FSA Pressure Mapping System by Vista Medical – Simulation Platform – Braden Scale pressure ulcer risk questionnaire – Likert Scale Seat Ratings – Postural photographs

6 Results-Clinical Image Examples Contour Foam Tractor Seat-Settle Contour Foam Tractor Seat- Completed Perturbations

7 Results-Clinical Image Examples High Profile ROHO Air Cushion- settle High Profile ROHO Air Cushion- Completed Perturbations

8 Results Summary Seven out of eight subjects demonstrated better distribution of pressure, minimal migration, and better immersion with the high profile air cushion. One subject appeared to have acceptable outcomes on both seating conditions. Further data transformation is underway.

9 Limitations Laboratory vs. field conditions Small sample size Only one tractor seat, five conditions Only seated pressures measured Experience of investigator; not blinded to results

10 Discussion 1. Are there practical limitations on how much front-end design can accommodate the variances involved in ergonomics of difference (e.g. weight, gender, size, postural asymmetries, and disability)? 2. What new materials, structures, contours, and dimensions can be incorporated into front-end design to widen the variance for ergonomics of difference? 3. What should be the role of aftermarket and custom design solutions that “fit” into existing front-end design? What research needs to be performed to ensure aftermarket solutions are effective in resolving seating issues, without creating other problems? 3. What body of knowledge and standardization of process needs to be developed for recommending aftermarket accommodations for people with ergonomics of difference? 4. Who needs to perform the work (i.e. designers, engineers, ergonomists, researchers, occupational health nurses, and others)? Will the work be performed in isolation or best performed through multi-disciplinary teams?

11 References Armstrong, R., Hall, B. J., Doyle, J., and Waters, E. (2011). Cochrane update: ‘Scoping the scope’ of a Cochrane review. Journal of Public Health, 33(1), doi: /pubmed/dr015 Balasubramanian, K., Burks, T. F., Lehtola, C. J., & Lee, W.S. (2006). Shock and vibration data acquisition system for off-road vehicle operator health and safety assessment. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 12(4), 293−313. Bergstrom, N., Braden, B. J., Laguzza, A., & Holman, V. (1987). The Braden Scale for predicting pressure sore risk. Nursing Research, 36(4), Retrieved from Des Jarlais, D. C., Lyles, C., Crepaz, N. (2004). Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: The TREND statement. American Journal of Public Health, 94, Donati, P. (2002). Survey of technical preventative measures to reduce whole body vibration effects when designing mobile machinery. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 253(1), doi: /jsvi Eslami, V., Saadat, S., Habibi-Arejan, Vaccaro, A. R., Ghodsi, S. M., & Rahimi- Movaghar, V. (2012). Factors associated with the development of pressure ulcers After spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 50, 899–903. doi.org/ /sc Gefen, A. (2007). The biomechanics of sitting-acquired pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injury or lesions. International Wound Journal, 4(3), Hostens, I., Papaioannou, G., Spaepen, A., & Ramon, H. (2001). Buttock and back pressure distribution tests on seats of mobile agricultural machinery. Applied Ergonomics, 32, Retrieved from Elsevier at Hunter, I. A., & Sakar, R. (2011). Managing pressure sores. Surgery, 29(2), Kroemer, K. H. E. (2006). Extra-ordinary ergonomics: How to accommodate small and big persons, the disabled and elderly, expectant mothers, and children. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. Linder-Ganz, E., Shabshin, N., Itzchak, Y., Yizhar, Z., Siev-Ner, I., & Gefen, A. (2008). Strains and stresses in sub-dermal tissues of the buttocks are greater in paraplegics than in healthy during sitting. Journal of Biomechanics, 41, 567–580. doi.org/ /j.jbiomech Minkel, J. L. (2000). Seating and mobility considerations for people with spinal cord injury. Physical Therapy, 80(7), Retrieved from National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (2009). International guideline: Prevention of pressure ulcers quick reference guide. Retrieved from Portnoy, L. G., & Watkins, M. P. (2000). Foundations of clinical research: Applications to practice (2nd ed.). Upper Saddleback, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Vista Medical. (2022). User manual for Boditrack and FSA Systems (1st ed.). Winnipeg: Vista Medical, LTD. Wilkinson, T. L. & Field, W.E. (1987). Modified agricultural equipment: Agricultural manlifts for farmers and ranchers with physical handicaps. West Lafayette, IN: Breaking New Ground. Yoder, A., Stoller, N., & Field, W.E. (2000). Plowshares #8: New concepts in lift attachments for tractors and combines. West Lafayette, IN: Breaking New Ground.

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