Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Using Objective Methods to Measure the Underlying Mechanisms of Discomfort During Prolonged Standing

Wiltman, Stephanie (2020) Using Objective Methods to Measure the Underlying Mechanisms of Discomfort During Prolonged Standing. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (6MB) | Preview


Prolonged standing is an occupational hazard that leads to higher likelihoods of joint and circulatory disorders. Existing measures of prolonged standing do not directly assess circulatory or joint responses. The goal of this research is to (Aim 1) identify novel weight transfer strategies, (Aim 2) investigate in vivo knee joint cartilage deformation, and (Aim 3) examine characteristics of lower extremity muscles during prolonged standing. Twenty-nine healthy adults were recruited in two body-mass index (BMI) subgroups, healthy weight (HW, 16 subjects, BMI<29.9 kg/m2) and obese (OB, 13 subjects, BMI>29.9 kg/m2). Subjects stood for two hours on two different flooring surfaces. Radiographs of the knee and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were used to measure joint and circulatory effects of prolonged standing, respectively. Subjective surveys, electromyography (EMG), and vertical reaction forces were also collected.
A novel method was developed to determine weight transfer strategies, shifts and fidgets, based on force and temporal boundaries. Shifts and fidgets increased significantly over time, possibly related to increasing lower extremity circulatory measures. OB displayed more shifts and fidgets over time than HW. Tibiofemoral gap distance, determined using a fitted piecewise model, decreased over time. OB reached terminal tibiofemoral gap faster on a hard floor (HF) than mat (MT), indicating that the MT may have a beneficial effect on cartilage compression for OB. While little information was noted from EMG, NIRS measured significant changes in blood volume and flow over time. The MT decreased negative circulatory outcomes especially for OB. Development of circulatory pathologies related to prolonged standing are the result of repeated exposure to capillary and venous dilation from volume and pressure changes. As such, measures of HbT and flow may be important metrics relating circulatory effects to development of pathologies.
This research has also shown that OB demonstrated different physiological responses to ergonomic interventions, providing evidence that it standing interventions may influence workers of different demographics differently. Future research should include human factors, such as BMI, age, gender, pregnancy, or disease, when researching occupational injuries associated with prolonged standing. These human factors should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of ergonomic interventions and designing new interventions.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wiltman, Stephaniesaw153@pitt.edusaw153
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorChambers,
Committee MemberAnderst,
Committee MemberHuppert,
Committee MemberPerera,
Committee MemberRedfern,
Committee MemberTashman,
Date: 30 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 March 2020
Approval Date: 30 July 2020
Submission Date: 13 March 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 212
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: prolonged standing, ergonomics, obesity, osteoarthritis, blood pooling
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 18:14
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2022 05:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item