The Acute Influence of Occupational Footwear on Balance

Borland, Caroline (2014) The Acute Influence of Occupational Footwear on Balance. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of John C. Garner from Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi.


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There is a great number of potential risks for falls and injuries because of problems in the workplace. In 2010, there were almost 3.1 million nonfatal and 646 fatal illnesses and injuries disclosed in the workplace (BLS, 2010). Fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries have decreased in the recent years but there is still much room to improve. Inappropriate footwear has been attributed to 45% of all falls (Menant et al. 2008). Past studies have shown that industrial footwear can have a detrimental effect on balance (Menant et al. 2008, Chander, Garner & Wade 2013). Occupational footwear have not been designed based on foot biomechanics but based solely on physical safety. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect different types of occupational footwear have on dynamic balance for acute bouts of time. Thirty-one healthy adult males (aged 21.2 ± 1.4 years; weight 82.6 ± 15.4 kg; height 179 ± 9.4 cm) with no musculoskeletal, orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular, and vestibular abnormalities were examined. The participants were expected to come to two visit days. The first was a familiarization and lasted about ten minutes, while the second was the actual test and lasted about an hour. Dynamic balance was measured on the NeuroCom Equitest MCT (BWM, BWL, FWM, FWL). Latencies values were found to determine reaction times to the perturbations. Individuals were randomly assigned the three different types of footwear: work boot (WB) (mass 0.39±0.06 kg), tactical boot (TB) (mass 0.53±0.08 kg), and low-top slip-resistant shoe (LT) (mass 0.89±0.05 kg). 1 x 4 [Testing Session x Footwear Condition (BF v. LT v. TB v. WB)] RMANOVA was used to evaluate balance dependent variables. Post-hoc pairwise comparisons identified differences between footwear conditions. Significant differences were found in FWM and FWL translations, but post-hoc comparisons found no differences between footwear. Significant differences were also found in the BWL translations between the barefoot condition and TB and between the barefoot condition and WB. Both the TB and WB had a higher boot shaft height as well as increased latency values. Higher latency values mean a longer time to respond to perturbations, which could result in a fall or injury. These results would suggest that based solely on latency values that the LT is the better footwear. If these findings were combined with findings on EMG, chronic responses, and SOT, one footwear could be deemed best.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Borland, Caroline
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. in Exercise Science
Thesis Advisor: John C. Garner
Thesis Advisor's Department: Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Depositing User: Caroline Borland
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 19:39
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 19:39

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