What is it about?

Handles mounted on buses and trains are meant to provide a safer and more comfortable commute. However, at what height should the handles be positioned to provide the best postural stability? We analyzed the stability of young healthy participants in three different handle positions and two unsupported standing poses. Results indicate that even though all handle positions provide much better stability when compared to unsupported poses, the way we use them is very different. Holding a handle at shoulder height appears to be the best choice since the forces on the handle were the lowest while the stability was comparable to other poses.

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Why is it important?

Knowing the optimal position of safety handles provides important information to the designers of public transport vehicles and health practitioners. By knowing at what height is best to hold a handle for balance enables designing more targeted and effective rehabilitation and fall prevention programmes.


By knowing that the outcomes of my research can be used to enhance a safer and healthier environment, is what brings meaning to my work.

Jernej Camernik
Jozef Stefan Institute

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Staying on your feet: the effectiveness of posture and handles in counteracting balance perturbation, Ergonomics, February 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2018.1559363.
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