Impact of a passive upper-body exoskeleton on muscle activity, heart rate and discomfort during a carrying task

Gabriela Garcia, Paul Gonzalo Arauz, Isabel Alvarez, Nicolas Encalada, Shirley Vega, Bernard J. Martin

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

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Resumen

Objective The goal of this study was to compare erector spinae muscle fatigue, upper limb muscle activity, body areas discomfort, and heart rate during a 10-min carrying task with and without a passive upper-body exoskeleton (CarrySuit®) while considering sex influences. Background Passive exoskeletons are commercially available to assist lifting or carrying task. However, evidence of their impact on muscle activity, fatigue, heart rate and discomfort are scarce and/or do not concur during carrying tasks. Method Thirty participants (16 females and 14 male) performed a 10-min, 15kg load-carrying task with and without the exoskeleton in two non-consecutive days. Heart rate, and erector spinae, deltoid, biceps and brachioradialis muscle activity were recorded during the carrying tasks. In addition, erector spinae electromyography during an isometric hold test and discomfort ratings were measured before and after the task. Results While without the exoskeleton upper limb muscle activity increased or remained constant during the carrying task and showing high peak activation for both males and females, a significant activity reduction was observed with the exoskeleton. Low back peak activation, heart rate and discomfort were lower with than without the exoskeleton. In males muscle activation was significantly asymmetric without the exoskeleton and more symmetric with the exoskeleton. Conclusion The tested passive exoskeleton appears to alleviate the physical workload and impact of carrying heavy loads on the upper limbs and lower back for both males and females.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe0287588
PublicaciónPLoS ONE
Volumen18
N.º6
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 23 jun. 2023

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