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Purpose: Agricultural machinery exposes farmers to unique environmental, biological, and physical factors. These conditions place these individuals at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and vibratory disorders. The purpose of this study is to compare the seated pressure distribution of participants on four different intervention cushions during dynamic tractor conditions. We predicted that an existing contour tractor seat will not be as effective in distributing seated pressure of the tractor operator as the four intervention cushions. Methods: Using a quantitative cross-over design, three participants were recruited through an informal convenience sampling method. Participants met the inclusion criteria by being adults, 18+ YOA, having no existing motor or sense loss in lower extremities, and no unhealed decubitus ulcers. Using the clinical protocol for pressure mapping from XSensor®, each participant completed five trials on five different tractor seats: on a tractor seat without an intervention cushion, and with four intervention cushions. Analysis of the data was conducted using clinical methods and basic descriptive statistics. Results: The XSensor® pressure mapping data collected indicate that in most cases the intervention cushions provided a statistically significant difference in distributing seated pressure compared to the tractor seat alone. However, in comparison to each other, the distribution in seated pressure of the intervention cushions varied with each participants body type. In order to accurately recommend best seat interventions for each participant, repeat trials would need to be completed. Conclusion: Due to the limited number of participants in this study, statistical conclusions cannot be made at this time. There is a need for further research and field testing of seat cushions under dynamic conditions. Future related studies will compare the seated pressure distribution of people with paraplegia during dynamic conditions.'


Poster presented at the University of New Mexico Occupational Therapy Research Day, April 20th, 2016, Albuquerque, NM.