Interface pressure measurement gives an objective value to human comfort. Prolonged sitting is known to contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. Driving a tractor involves several actions such as steering, operating levers, buttons, brake and clutch pedals, and looking behind to observe and maneuver the machine. These operations affect sitting posture and create a pattern of loading on the structures of the operator's body. The aim of this study was to study barometric mapping at the operator's buttocks-seat interface for comfort evaluation of the agricultural and forestry machine seats. Three different tractor seats (A “low cost”; B “medium cost”; C “high cost”) were tested during ploughing, harrowing and haying operations, by 8 different operators. Two standardized conditions were used, one on a track with ridges and one on an asphalted surface, with driving tests conducted on both. From each test, the following values were obtained: maximum pressure peak (Pmax); average pressure value (Pavg); and the average percentage of cells activated by pressures ranging between 50 and 130 g/cm2 (NC50-130), 131–400 g/cm2 (NC131-400) and higher than 400 g/cm2 (NC401-1000). Mean values of Pavg, Pmax, NC131-400, recorded after the two lab tests (on the road and the ridged track) carried out with seat-A tractors were greater (p < 0.05) than those obtained in tests with more comfortable seats (seats B and C). Pavg and Pmax mean values recorded after three field tests carried out with A-seat tractors were greater than those obtained in tests with more comfortable seats (B and C). Similarly, the cell activation in the pressure interval 131–400 g/cm2 (NC131-400) in A-seat tests was significantly greater than that of both B and C seats. Based on our findings, it is possible to conclude that the analyzed pressure indexes in this study are useful instruments to describe the characteristics of seat mapping and compare agricultural machine seats as a function of operator's buttocks-seat interface, thus highlighting the comfort rate obtainable in dynamic situations by the operator. The sitting posture is one of the main factors that contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. The methodology is based on barometric mapping for comfort evaluation. Tractors seats were tested in three agriculture operations and on two standardized tracks. The study showed indicators to evaluate barometric maps in dynamics conditions.
The use of pressure mapping to assess the comfort of agricultural machinery seats / E. Romano, M. Pirozzi, M. Ferri, A. Calcante, R. Oberti, E. Vitale, V. Rapisarda. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ERGONOMICS. - ISSN 0169-8141. - 77(2020 May), pp. 102835.1-102835.8.
|Titolo:||The use of pressure mapping to assess the comfort of agricultural machinery seats|
|Parole Chiave:||agricultural seats; comfort evaluation; pressure sensors|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria|
|Data di pubblicazione:||mag-2020|
|Data ahead of print / Data di stampa:||14-ago-2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2019.102835|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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