Skip to main content

Typical Cockpit Ergonomics Influence on Cervical Motor Control in Healthy Young Male Adults

Buy Article:

$27.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

INTRODUCTION: Neck pain and injury are common problems in military high-performance aircraft and helicopter aircrews. A contributing factor may be the reclined sitting position in cockpits. This study aimed to determine the effect of typical cockpit ergonomics on cervical proprioception, assessed by using the cervical joint position error (cJPE).

METHODS: A total of 49 healthy male military employees (mean age 19.9 ± 2.2 yr) were examined. Measurements of the cJPE were obtained in the flexion, extension, and rotation directions in an upright and in a 30°-reclined sitting position. Each condition comprised three trials, with an additional 3-kg head load to mimic real world working conditions.

RESULTS: A smaller cJPE was noted in the 30°-reclined sitting position (mean cJPE = 3.9 cm) than in the upright sitting position (mean cJPE = 4.6 cm) in the flexion direction. The cJPE decreased significantly in all movement directions across the three trials; for example, in the flexion direction in the 30°-reclined sitting position: Trial 1/2/3 mean cJPE = 5.0/3.8/3.1 cm.

CONCLUSION: It seems that a reclined seating position has a positive influence on cJPE. However, the result is weak. In both sitting positions and all three directions, the first tests of the cJPE showed the highest values. Already after one or two further measurement runs, a significantly reduced cJPE was observed. This rapid improvement might indicate that an exercise similar to the cJPE test may improve the pilots' cervical proprioception and possibly reduce the risk of injury or pain.

Heggli U, Swanenburg J, Hofstetter L, Häusler M, Schweinhardt P, Bron D. Typical cockpit ergonomics influence on cervical motor control in healthy young male adults. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2023; 94(3):107–112.

Keywords: helicopter aircrew; joint position error; military aircrew; neck; proprioception

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2023

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Submit Articles
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content