Magnum Bonum (Izabela Ciesielska - Wrobel) (2014 - 2017)

MODELLING OF HUMAN BODY AND PROTECTIVE TEXTILES FOR ESTIMATION OF SKIN SENSORIAL COMFORT AND LIFE RISK
(Dr. Izabela Ciesielska-Wrobel with North-Carolina State University (NCSU)) (EU Grant number 622043; 01.05.2014 - 30.04.2017)

The project is composed of two phases: outgoing, in US (May 1, 2014 -> April 30, 2016) and returning, in Belgium (May 1, 2016 -> April 30, 2017).

It is still relatively difficult to quantify the differences between garment systems, which are very similar in terms of structure, material composition, and design. The impact of slight differences in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on humans is difficult to detect, due to lack of sensitive devices used in smart measuring methodologies; however, slight differences are often reported by PPE users.

The aims of this study were to develop a reliable evaluation technique to quantify the loss of mobility associated with wearing firefighters’ PPE and to verify the influence of PPEs having similar features on firefighters’ range of motion (ROM) using this evaluation technique. The ROM can be restricted by wearing stiff, bulky, and uncomfortable clothing. The ROM, which is unassisted and voluntary motion of joints, is assessed by goniometers or electro-goniometers when subjects are wearing and testing different outfits. The ROM of ten healthy firefighters was measured using electro-goniometers (Fig. 1) attached to their bodies (Fig. 2) while they wore three structural uniforms and a reference outfit (RO). Each of the firefighters was performing shoulder abduction, shoulder horizontal and vertical flexion and extension, elbow flexion and extension, and squat (selected movements are presented in Fig. 3 (a) – (c)). Results obtained on the base of ROM measurements indicate that the most restrictive uniform is called Bulky (BU), containing additional layers of materials in sleeves and on the knees. The uniform called Traditional (TR), being less bulky than BU but more bulky than Ergonomic (ER), was more restrictive than ER in terms of ROM and less restrictive than BU. The subjective opinions of subjects match partly with the objective assessment of ROM. The proposed test battery does not exhaust all possible movement and posture options, however, it presents the most widely utilized movements present in similar studies on the impact of clothing on ROM.

Figure 1. A set of four electro-goniometer by Biometrics, Ltd. that were placed on the bodies of subjects, around selected joints, to study their ROM

Figure 2. An exemplary presentation of attachment of two electro-goniometers to the body of a subject

Figure 1. A set of four electro-goniometer by Biometrics, Ltd. that were placed on the bodies of subjects, around selected joints, to study their ROM

  

 

Figure 2. An exemplary presentation of attachment of two electro-goniometers to the body of a subject: one on the shoulder to measure shoulder abduction, vertical and horizontal flexion and extension, and one along the forearm to measure the elbow joint ROM.

 

 Figure 3. The movements performed by subjects wearing different uniforms when their ROM was measured.

Figure 3. The movements performed by subjects wearing different uniforms when their ROM was measured; (a): shoulder abduction in ER, shoulder horizontal extension in BU, squat in ER.

 

Supported by: Marie Curie Action: "International Outgoing Fellowships for Career Development", FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF          

Duration:01-05-2014 to 30-04-2017

Contact: dr. Izabela Luiza CIESIELSKA-WROBEL