The impact of different seats and whole-body vibration exposures on truck driver vigilance and discomfort

Laboratory studies have shown that exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) increases physical and mental fatigue, which are common issues professional drivers face. The objective of this study was to determine whether altering WBV exposures had any effect on driver vigilance and discomfort. A repeated measures crossover design of five truck drivers with regular 10-h routes was used. Active and passive suspension truck seats were evaluated. For each seat, WBV exposures were measured. Participants completed a discomfort questionnaire and a reaction time task before and after their shift for two weeks, one week per seat. Compared with the passive seat, the active seat significantly reduced WBV exposures, decrements in the optimal and mean reaction times (p = 0.02, 0.047, respectively), and discomfort in the lower back and wrist(s)/forearm(s) (p < 0.01, 0.01, respectively). Study results indicated that reducing WBV helps reduce discomfort and maintain vigilance, which may improve drivers’ health and reduce the risk of truck collisions. Practitioner Summary: The active suspension seat used in this study reduced truck drivers’ exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) by over 33% in relation to their current industry standard passive suspension seat. This study demonstrated that reducing truck drivers’ exposure to WBV reduced fatigue and discomfort development over a workday.


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  • Accession Number: 01662782
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 21 2018 3:00PM