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Integrating Physical Fitness Research Into The Ergonomics Classroom

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Integrating Research into Teaching

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.791.1 - 10.791.21



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Paper Authors

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Nicole LaRocque

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Terri Lynch-Caris

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating Physical Fitness Research into the Ergonomics Classroom Terri Lynch-Caris, Nicole LaRocque Kettering University

Abstract The intent of this paper is to describe the integration of a research project into the ergonomics classroom. The class evaluated a personal strength assistant device that is meant to increase core and upper body strength. The entire ergonomics class of 19 students worked on the group research project and final write-up. The experimental group in the research project was comprised of members of the ergonomics class while a control group was assembled consisting of students outside the class. A strength improvement device was used for a maximum of five minutes, three days per week for three weeks by the experimental group. The control group maintained their regular fitness and strength activities. A general fitness assessment and a strength specific assessment were administered and rated before and after the three-week testing period for both the experimental and the control groups. The data will show that general fitness levels did not change significantly for the experimental group, or the control group. However, the strength specific measurement did statistically increase in the experimental group while strength was unchanged in the control group. Details of the project procedure as well as ergonomic applications are presented.

A special thanks goes to the IME462 Summer 2004 students who participated in the experiment and presented their initial findings to the class. The following students were actively involved in preparing the initial draft of this paper: Peter Alexiev, Erin Clancy, Stephanie Cole, Eric Coyle, Nissa Doyle, Diana Dzissah, Matthew Gabriel, Jeanne Hargreaves, Dominic Inkrott, Ryan Jones, Markus Moegel, Adam Pickens, David Quintanilla, Elizabeth Rogal, Michelle Ross, Erisha Smith, Gretchen Smith, David Spurgess and Rachel Thole.

Problem and Hypothesis

Physical fitness is the measurement of how well a person’s body reacts to physical activity over a certain period of time. Some assessments, like number of push-ups and sit-ups, measure both fitness and strength. During the testing procedure, the students of Kettering University’s Ergonomics class assessed general fitness levels (heart rate, blood pressure, body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance and flexibility) and strength specific levels (muscular strength via hand grip, arm, and low back strength).

Strength determines the ability of a person to exert a force on a physical object using muscles1. The students in this class (the experimental group) completed movements

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

LaRocque, N., & Lynch-Caris, T. (2005, June), Integrating Physical Fitness Research Into The Ergonomics Classroom Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15614

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