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A pilot study of law ernforcement officer (LEO) anthropometry with applications to vehicle design for safety and accommodation

Law enforcement officers (LEO) are at relatively high risk of back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. The risk is exacerbated by the poor accommodation provided by their vehicles, which are usually modified civilian vehicles. LEO are also involved in vehicle crashes at a higher rate than most other occupations, yet officers report difficulty in wearing a safety belt due to interference with their body-borne equipment. To begin to address these issues, a pilot study was conducted to demonstrate the application of three-dimensional anthropometric techniques to quantifying the influence of body-borne gear on space claim and posture in vehicles. The results demonstrated that three exemplar vehicles accommodated the officers poorly due to interference between the seat or other vehicle features and the body-borne gear. Belt fit was also adversely affected, and vehicle modifications and additions, such as the now-common center-mounted laptop computer, create awkward postures for driving, in-vehicle work, and ingress and egress. A large-scale, population-based study aimed at developing seat and vehicle design guidelines using three-dimensional anthropometric techniques is needed.

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