Affiliations: [a] Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV, USA. | [b] Biomechanics-Ergonomics Research Laboratory, University of Cincinnati Medical School, Cincinnati, OH, USA. | [c] Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati Medical School, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Corresponding author: Amit Bhattacharya, Biomechanics-Ergonomics Research Laboratory, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati Medical School, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056, USA.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate workers' ability to detect changes in postural balance using a short questionnaire -- the perceived sense of postural sway and instability (PSPSI) scale. Ratings of perceived sense of postural sway and instability for four simulated tasks were obtained from fifty-two healthy industrial workers and compared with objective measurements determined by a strain gauge type force platform. The simulated tasks were performed under various experimental conditions that may influence postural stability. It was found that subjects were able to perceive the changes in postural sway and instability due to the modification in peripheral vision, environmental lighting, workload, and surface firmness, as reflected by their PSPSI ratings. Results from this study indicate that the PSPSI scale is a promising tool, which provides a simple and valid method to evaluate the potential for loss of balance in the workplace.
Keywords: Posture, balance, stability, perceived sense of postural instability