Effects of a Passive Back-Support Exosuit on Postural Control and Cognitive Performance During a Fatigue-Inducing Posture Maintenance

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Date
2024-01-03
Authors
Kim, Jiwon
Kang, Sang Hyeon
Li, Jinfeng
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Sage Publications
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringKinesiology
Abstract
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of passive back-support exosuit on postural control and cognitive performance during a fatigue-inducing posture maintenance task. Background Wearable support systems (exoskeletons/exosuits) reduce physical demands but may also influence postural control and cognitive performance by reducing muscular fatigue. Method Eighteen participants visited on two different days to test an exosuit system and performed dual-task cognitive assessments based on human information processing (information acquisition, information integration, and action implementation) while maintaining a 35° trunk flexion posture for 16 minutes. Center-of-pressure (CoP), cognitive performance, and perceived workload were recorded, while erector spinae muscle activity was captured to quantify muscle fatigue. Results The exosuit was effective in reducing erector spinae muscle fatigue during the static posture maintenance task (61% less in Δmedian frequency: −9.5 Hz (EXO-Off) versus −3.7 Hz (EXO-On)). The fatigue-inducing task increased CoP velocity as a function of time (29% greater: 9.3 mm/sec (pre) versus 12.0 mm/sec (post)), and exosuit use decreased CoP velocity (23% less: 12.1 mm/sec (EXO-Off) versus 9.4 mm/sec (EXO-On)). The exosuit was also effective at mitigating cognitive degradation, as evidenced by a higher hit-to-signal ratio (8% greater: 81.3 (EXO-Off) versus 87.9 (EXO-On)) in the information integration task and reducing perceived workload in all stages of human information processing. Conclusion Exosuit provided benefits of postural control and information integration processing during a 16-min static posture maintenance task.
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This is a manuscript of the article Published as Kim, Jiwon, Sang Hyeon Kang, Jinfeng Li, Gary A. Mirka, and Michael C. Dorneich. "Effects of a Passive Back-Support Exosuit on Postural Control and Cognitive Performance During a Fatigue-Inducing Posture Maintenance Task." Human Factors (2024): 00187208231221890. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/00187208231221890. Posted with Permission. © 2024 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
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