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Masato Maeda, Eiji Shamoto, Toshimichi Moriwaki, and Haruo Nomura

The present paper presents a new sensor to measure 6 components of force and 2 components of deflection applied to the javelin during the throw. Since the javelin is deflected and vibraled during throwing, measurement of force and deflection applied to the javelin will provide important information for throwers in how to better throw the javelin and to design javelins with better dynamic characteristics. The sensor is designed not to significantly change the static and dynamic characteristics of the javelin. The force sensor performs well in terms of linearity and crosstalk, and the javelin equipped with this sensor has similar characteristics to ordinary javelins. The present paper also presents an example of measurement in the javelin throw.

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Alyssa Evans, Gavin Q. Collins, Parker G. Rosquist, Noelle J. Tuttle, Steven J. Morrin, James B. Tracy, A. Jake Merrell, William F. Christensen, David T. Fullwood, Anton E. Bowden, and Matthew K. Seeley

for 30 s) was compared between the NCPF sensor and accelerometry variables. On average, variance for the NCPF sensors was 4.25 times greater than for the accelerometer (an F test was performed and resulted in a p value of approximately zero). This increased variance in the force sensor signals

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Daniela JS Mattos, Susana Cristina Domenech, Noé Gomes Borges Junior, and Marcio José Santos

Eight subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) (47.13 ± 7.83 years) and 8 matched controls (46.29 ± 7.27 years) manipulated a test object fitted with an accelerometer and force sensor, both before and after hand muscle fatigue. Grip force and object acceleration were recorded and used to calculate grip force control variables that included Grip Force Peak, Safety Margin, and Time to Grip Force Peak. Individuals with CTS exhibited a higher Safety Margin (p = .010) and longer Time to Peak of Grip Force (p = .012) than healthy controls during object manipulation. Once fatigued, both groups significantly decreased their grip force to perform the task (Grip Force Peak; p = .017 and Safety Margin; p < .001). Nevertheless, individuals with CTS maintained an unnecessarily high safety margin. Our results suggest that CTS can adversely affect how the central nervous system regulates grip force, which might aggravate the inflammatory process and exacerbate the symptoms of this disease.

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Lars Donath and Peter Wolf

Multiaxial force sensors were applied to measure interaction forces during dynamic movements, such as climbing. When interaction forces are interpreted, minimal detectable changes, typical errors, and coefficients of variation of related performance metrics should be quantified. Thus, the presented study evaluated absolute and relative between-trial reliability with and without previous familiarization trials. Eleven Swiss elite climbers (5 females, 6 males) were tested during 2 repetitive climbing sequences (including 4 instrumented holds: 2 crimps, 1 undercling, 1 sloper). To ensure comparable relative intensity, females climbed at 20°, 25°, 30°, 25°, and 20° wall inclination, while males climbed at 25°, 30°, 35°, 30°, and 25°. Contact time, maximal resultant force, mean resultant force, impulse, and the number of load changes were analyzed at the lowest inclination. Acceptable to good between-trial reliability was found for nearly all holds and performance metrics. Performance analyses after 5 minutes of familiarization on the unknown boulder, which equals up to 3 trials, yielded to higher variability compared with performance analyses after several familiarization trials. Accordingly, the majority of absolute and relative reliability data improved after familiarization trails. Thus, to be detectable, interventional changes have to exceed higher biological variability during on-sight conditions than during red-point conditions.

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Halla B. Olafsdottir, Sun Wook Kim, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, and Mark L. Latash

We tested the ability of healthy elderly persons to use anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs) prior to a self-triggered perturbation of one of the fingers during a multifinger force production task. An index of a force-stabilizing synergy was computed reflecting covariation of commands to fingers. The subjects produced constant force by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on force sensors against constant upwardly directed forces. The middle finger could be unloaded either by the subject pressing the trigger or unexpectedly by the experimenter. In the former condition, the synergy index showed a drop (interpreted as ASA) prior to the time of unloading. This drop started later and was smaller in magnitude as compared with ASAs reported in an earlier study of younger subjects. At the new steady state, a new sharing pattern of the force was reached. We conclude that aging is associated with a preserved ability to explore the flexibility of the mechanically redundant multifinger system but a decreased ability to use feed-forward adjustments to self-triggered perturbations. These changes may contribute to the documented drop in manual dexterity with age.

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Philip E. Martin and Gary D. Heise

Archery instructors believe that force distribution (FD) between the hand and bow grip can have a considerable effect on arrow flight, but there is no empirical support for this speculation. This study examined FD on the bow grip in experienced archers and explored the possible relationships between FD, performance, and fatigue. FD was quantified for 15 experienced archers (8 highly skilled [HS] and 7 less skilled [LS]) using 15 unobtrusive force sensors as each archer completed 72 shots. Arrow position relative to the target center, estimated net moments and moment arms about vertical and horizontal axes through the grip, and shot-to-shot variability in the estimated moments and moment arms were computed for three blocks of six shots. Results demonstrated that (a) estimated moments and moment arms were not consistently related to observed vertical or horizontal deviations in arrow position, (b) there were no systematic differences in FD between HS and LS archers, (c) fatigue had no quantifiable effect on FD, and (d) HS archers displayed less shot-to-shot variability in vertical FD than LS archers, but similar variability horizontally. Results did not support the above-noted common belief of archery instructors.

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Wolfgang Potthast, Gert-Peter Brüggemann, Arne Lundberg, and Anton Arndt

The purpose of this study was to quantify relative contributions of impact interface, muscle activity, and knee angle to the magnitudes of tibial and femoral accelerations occurring after external impacts. Impacts were initiated with a pneumatically driven impacter under the heels of four volunteers. Impact forces were quantified with a force sensor. Segmental accelerations were measured with bone mounted accelerometers. Experimental interventions were hard and soft shock interfaces, different knee angles (0°, 20°, 40° knee flexion), and muscular preactivation (0%, 30%, 60% of maximal voluntary contraction) of gastrocnemii, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Greater knee flexion led to lower impact forces and higher tibial accelerations. Increased muscular activation led to higher forces and lower tibial accelerations. The softer of the two shock interfaces under study reduced both parameters. The effects on accelerations and forces through the activation and knee angle changes were greater than the effect of interface variations. The hardness of the two shock interfaces explained less than 10% of the variance of accelerations and impact forces, whereas knee angle changes explained 25–29%, and preactivation changes explained 35–48% of the variances. It can be concluded that muscle force and knee joint angle have greater effects in comparison with interface hardness on the severity of shocks on the lower leg.

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Jason E. Hsu, Qiyu Peng, David A. Schafer, Jason L. Koh, Gordon W. Nuber, and Li-Qun Zhang

The flexor-pronator mass is thought to be the primary dynamic valgus stabilizer of the elbow and protects the ulnar collateral ligament. However, in vivo multiaxis actions of individual muscles of the flexor-pronator group and their roles in valgus stability have not been investigated quantitatively. This study tested the hypothesis that individual muscles of the flexor-pronator muscle group produce a significant varus moment that provides elbow valgus stability. The flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialis, and pronator teres were selectively activated, and the resulting multiaxis moments at the elbow measured at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90° of elbow flexion using a six-axis force sensor were analyzed for their role in generating varus moment and protecting the ulnar collateral ligament. Considerable off-axis moments were generated by each muscle tested. Through the range of elbow flexion, the varus moment was the major component of the multiaxis action of the flexor carpi ulnaris (p < .001). The flexor carpi radialis and pronator teres had significant actions as elbow flexors and pronators (p ≤ .032); these muscles also had a significant varus contribution at 90° elbow flexion (p ≤.019). The results suggest that the flexor-pronator muscle group plays an important role in valgus stability of the elbow. In particular, the flexor carpi ulnaris creates a significant varus moment, which is important in unloading and protecting the ulnar collateral ligament. Rehabilitation and strengthening of the flexor-pronator muscle group may help prevent failure of the ulnar collateral ligament and may also help compensate for a medially insufficient elbow.

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Jérémy Rossi, Benjamin Goislard De Monsabert, Eric Berton, and Laurent Vigouroux

The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of handle shape on the grip force distribution in the hand and on the muscle forces during maximal power grip tasks. Eleven subjects maximally grasped 3 handles with different external shapes (circular, elliptic, and double-frustum). A handle dynamometer, equipped with both a force sensor and a pressure map, was used to record the forces exerted at the hand/handle interface. The finger and wrist joint postures were also computed from synchronized kinematic measurement. These processed data were then used as input of a biomechanical hand model to estimate muscle forces. The results showed that handle shape influences the maximal grip force, the grip force distribution, and the finger joint postures. Particularly, we observed that the elliptical shape resulted in a 6.6% lower maximal grip force compared with the circular and double-frustum handle. Concomitantly, the estimated muscle forces also varied significantly according to the handle shape, with up to 48% differences for the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle for example. Interestingly, different muscle coordination strategies were observed depending on the handle shape, therefore suggesting a potential influence of these geometrical characteristics on pathological risks such as tendonitis.

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Adriana V. Savescu, Mark L. Latash, and Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

This article proposes a technique to calculate the coefficient of friction for the fingertip– object interface. Twelve subjects (6 males and 6 females) participated in two experiments. During the first experiment (the imposed displacement method), a 3-D force sensor was moved horizontally while the subjects applied a specified normal force (4 N, 8 N, 12 N) on the surface of a sensor covered with different materials (sandpaper, cotton, rayon, polyester, and silk).The normal force and the tangential force (i.e., the force due to the sensor motion) were recorded. The coefficient of frictiond) was calculated as the ratio between the tangential force and the normal force. In the second experiment (the beginning slip method), a small instrumented object was gripped between the index finger and the thumb, held stationary in the air, and then allowed to drop. The weight (200 g, 500 g, and 1,000 g) and the surface (sandpaper, cotton, rayon, polyester, and silk) in contact with the digits varied across trials. The same sensor as in the first experiment was used to record the normal force (in a horizontal direction) and the tangential force (in the vertical direction). The slip force (i.e., the minimal normal force or grip force necessary to prevent slipping) was estimated as the force at the moment when the object just began to slip. The coefficient of friction was calculated as the ratio between the tangential force and the slip force. The results show that (1) the imposed displacement method is reliable; (2) except sandpaper, for all other materials the coefficient of friction did not depend on the normal force; (3) the skin–sandpaper coefficient of friction was the highest µd = 0.96 ± 0.09 (for 4-N normal force) and the skin–rayon rayon coefficient of friction was the smallest µd = 0.36 ± 0.10; (4) no significant difference between the coefficients of friction determined with the imposed displacement method and the beginning slip method was observed. We view the imposed displacement technique as having an advantage as compared with the beginning slip method, which is more cumbersome (e.g., dropped object should be protected from impacts) and prone to subjective errors owing to the uncertainty in determining the instance of the slip initiation (i.e., impeding sliding).