Factors Influencing Manual Performance in Cold Water Diving.

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Factors Influencing Manual Performance in Cold Water Diving.

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Title: Factors Influencing Manual Performance in Cold Water Diving.
Author: Morrison, JB; Zander, JK
Abstract: With the introduction of new communications and display technologies, the ability of divers to operate complex controls becomes an important factor in systems design. This study evaluates the effects of pressure, gloves, and cold on three components of manual performance: grip strength, tactile sensitivity and manual dexterity. Performance was evaluated at 0.4 and 40 msw: with and without gloves in 25 deg C water, and with gloves in 4 deg C water. Results show that narcosis did not affect manual performance at 40 msw (p>0.05). In 25 deg C water, three fingered neoprene gloves caused a significant impairment of grip strength (23%), tactile sensitivity (35%) and manual dexterity (45%). There was an interaction effect between gloves and pressure, with the compression of neoprene providing an improvement in grip strength and manual dexterity at 40 msw. Tactile sensitivity and manual dexterity were both affected by cold at 40 msw when wearing gloves (p < 0.05). The combined effects of gloves, pressure and cold water resulted in a 30% decrement in grip strength and a 60% decrement in tactile sensitivity and manual dexterity. Based on these findings, ergonomic recommendations are made for design and usability testing of underwater equipment and controls.
Description: Citation Status: Active; Citation Classification: Unclassified; Title Classification: Unclassified; Report Classification: Unclassified; Identifier Classification: Unclassified; Abstract Classification: Unclassified; Distribution Limitation(s): 01 - APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE; Information provided by the Defence R&D Canada (http://www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/) is considered public information and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/7615
Date: 2008

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  • Defence R&D Canada (DRDC)
    This collection contains technical reports published by Defence R&D Canada (DRDC), formerly Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine (DCIEM™).

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