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This study examined obesity impacts on task performance and perceived discomfort during seated foot target reaches. Three independent variables, participant group, movement distance, and, movement direction, were considered. The task performance measures employed were reaction time, movement time and task performance time. Perceived discomfort was measured using a modified Borg CR-10 scale. Statistical analyses revealed that: obesity was associated with increases in movement time, reaction time and performance time; movement distance significantly affected the three task performance measures and discomfort rating; and, movement direction significantly affected movement time, performance time and discomfort rating. The obesity impacts observed are thought to reflect the decelerating effects of the extra fat mass in the obese body during foot reaches and possibly obesity-related physiological and cognitive changes. Design improvements of foot-operated systems, such as reducing distances to targets, increasing target sizes and avoiding forward foot reaches, may help counteract the observed obesity impacts. Practitioner Summary: This study empirically investigated the obesity impacts on task performance and perceived discomfort during seated foot target reaches. Obesity was found to be associated with increases in movement time, reaction time and performance time. The observed obesity impacts seem attributable to the anthropometric, motor and cognitive characteristics of the obese.Abbreviations: ANOVA: analysis of variance; BMI: body mass index; ROM: range of motion; Borg CR-10: Borg's category ratio 10 scale.

Citation

Seungwon Baek, Jaemoon Jung, Philjun Moon, Woojin Park. Obesity impacts on task performance and perceived discomfort during seated foot target reaches. Ergonomics. 2021 Jun 11:1-10


PMID: 34018914

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