Biomechanical study of upper limb activities of daily living
The kinematic and kinetic characteristics of arm movement during four activities of daily living: lifting a weight, driving a steering wheel, opening/closing a door and cutting were investigated in this study by using a human movement analysis system comprising a 6 camera Vicon motion analysis system, a 6 component strain-gauged transducer, a specially designed and instrumented steering wheel simulation system, a door and a cutting plate. The most important achievements of this study are: (1) Implementation of the residual analysis technique into a computer program to filter the noisy kinematic data at an autoselected cut-off frequency for each data sequence. (2) The development of a new method of representing the velocity and acceleration of points of interest using the phase plane presentation. It was found that driving is the most complicated activity investigated in this study according to the range of arm movement. From the kinetic results, it was found that the order of difficulty of the four activities can be arranged as cutting, door opening/closing, lifting, and driving according to the magnitude of the maximum resultant total shoulder moment. The difficulty of the lifting activity increased with the weight to be lifted and the height of lifting. It was also found that the major component of the shoulder moment is the flexion/extension moment for most of the activities except driving, therefore it is concluded that having sufficient shoulder flexion/extension strength is most important for conducting most upper limb activities of daily living. In addition, the results of this study provide information for improving the understanding of the biomechanics of the upper limb activities and for clinical reference.