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The Standardized Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials (ASTM F-355) was used to evaluate the shock absorbing characteristics of 13 floors used for dance exercise. Acceleration-time histories indicated that the floors differed markedly in their shock absorbing behavior. The complex nature of the acceleration-time histories led to the conclusion that descriptors that have previously been used to quantify shock absorbing data were inadequate for the floors examined in this investigation. An additional procedure was devised in order to examine potentially injurious stresses on a performer while executing a common dance exercise movement performed on each of the 13 floors tested. It was concluded that the two testing procedures evaluated differing aspects of the shock absorbing mechanisms involved in dance exercise. However, a tentative relationship between the two corresponding data sets provided some support for the retention of ASTM F-355 as a reproducible test for the shock absorbing characteristics of floors.
Peter R. Francis is with the Department of Physical Education at San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182. Michael Leigh and Aldis Berzins are graduate students in the Department of Computer Science at San Diego State University.