Strength and Balance Guided Posture Selection during a Battery Maintenance Task 2006-01-0698
Posture selection during standing exertions is a complex process involving tradeoffs between muscle strength and balance. Bodyweight utilization reduces the amount of upper-body strength required to perform a high force push/pull exertion but shifts the center-of-gravity towards the limits of the functional stability region. Thus balance constraints limit the extent to which bodyweight can be used to generate push/pull forces. This paper examines a two-handed sagittal plane pulling exertion performed during a battery maintenance task on a member of the family of medium-sized tactical vehicles (FMTV). Percent capable strength predictions and functional balance capabilities were determined for various two-handed pulling postures using the University of Michigan's 3D Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP). Through this simulation study, preferred postures that minimize joint torques while maintaining balance were identified. Such preferred postures are important in redesigning the vehicle for improved maintenance.