Vehicular Vibrations and Neuromotor Transmissibility

Vibration exposure is a known risk factor for low back pain disorders and a common complaint for commercial vehicle (eighteen-wheelers) operators to helicopter pilots. It can also be a common work-related complaint of construction workers, particularly highway construction where whole body vibrations occur in everything from heavy equipment operation to jackhammers. The goal of this study is to verify this connection and examine ways to reduce how vibration is delivered to the neuromotor system. Both traditional methods such as restricting belts to reduce flexion-extension motions in the lumbar region and use of novel exercise and muscle stretching regimes will be evaluated. The primary objective is to analyze effects of vertical seat pan vibration on humans to better understand how vibration could lead to low back injury. It is hypothesized that mechanical-neuromotor transmission from the seat pan to lumbar rotation may result in cyclic paraspinal muscle activation. Other objectives are: examine potential methods of preventing this mechanical-neuromotor transmission including a rigid backrest and a stiff lumbar belt; and, use this work to develop a collaborative relationship with National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Health Effects Laboratory (HELD) and use this material for future grants & collaborative research. Understanding these vibration-induced neuromotor responses is important for understanding the first premise, Resonances in transmissibility at 6 and 10-12 Hz suggest these frequencies may be critical to prevention. Complex nature of these response may also play a role in the neuromotor effects of vibration.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Advanced Vehicle Technology


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Kansas, Lawrence

    Transportation Research Institute
    2117 Learned Hall, 1530 W 15th Street
    Lawrence, KS  United States  66045
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wilson, Sara

  • Start Date: 20061000
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 16725

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01468453
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Research and Innovative Technology Administration
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:51PM