Abstract Title

Navigating the Concrete Jungle: Feasibility of Quantifying the Biomechanics of Parents Carrying Infants in a Non-Laboratory Setting

Additional Funding Sources

The project described was supported by the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation through the National Science Foundation under Award No. HRD-1410465.

Abstract

For the first year of life, human babies depend on their caregivers to transport them. While carrying infants in arms and in wraps/carriers on a parent’s body have been used for centuries, modern infant product design has introduced alternative methods to carry infants including car seats and strollers. However, it is unclear how these different carrying methods may impact a caregiver’s biomechanics or risks of injury. The objective of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility of collecting biomechanical data on caregivers carrying infants in real world scenarios. An obstacle course was designed outside the lab representing realistic daily activities: walking, descending/ascending stairs and ramps, and opening/navigating doors. Each obstacle was completed by a female participant with an infant manikin in four carrying positions: held in arms, secured in a car seat, held in a baby carrier on the participant’s body, and secured in a stroller. Electromyography (EMG) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors were placed on key muscles and body segments to measure muscle activity and movement. We successfully collected data throughout the designed obstacle course, and the results show characteristics distinct to each mode of movement. Future work involves additional activities and 20+ participants.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Navigating the Concrete Jungle: Feasibility of Quantifying the Biomechanics of Parents Carrying Infants in a Non-Laboratory Setting

For the first year of life, human babies depend on their caregivers to transport them. While carrying infants in arms and in wraps/carriers on a parent’s body have been used for centuries, modern infant product design has introduced alternative methods to carry infants including car seats and strollers. However, it is unclear how these different carrying methods may impact a caregiver’s biomechanics or risks of injury. The objective of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility of collecting biomechanical data on caregivers carrying infants in real world scenarios. An obstacle course was designed outside the lab representing realistic daily activities: walking, descending/ascending stairs and ramps, and opening/navigating doors. Each obstacle was completed by a female participant with an infant manikin in four carrying positions: held in arms, secured in a car seat, held in a baby carrier on the participant’s body, and secured in a stroller. Electromyography (EMG) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors were placed on key muscles and body segments to measure muscle activity and movement. We successfully collected data throughout the designed obstacle course, and the results show characteristics distinct to each mode of movement. Future work involves additional activities and 20+ participants.