Aerospace Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Kinesiology, Human Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality Applications Center
Journal or Book Title
Research Focus Area(s)
Ergonomics and Human Factors
Objective: The goal of this work is to determine whether muscular fatigue concurrently reduces cognitive attentional resources in technical tasks for healthy adults.
Background: Muscular fatigue is common in the workplace but often dissociated with cognitive performance. A corpus of literature demonstrates a link between muscular fatigue and cognitive function, but few investigations demonstrate that the instigation of the former degrades the latter in a way that may affect technical task completion. For example, laparoscopic surgery increases muscular fatigue, which may risk attentional capacity reduction and undermine surgical outcomes.
Method: A total of 26 healthy participants completed a dual-task cognitive assessment of attentional resources while concurrently statically fatiguing their shoulder musculature until volitional failure, in a similar loading pattern observed in laparoscopic procedures. Continuous and discrete monitoring task performance was recorded to reflect attentional resources.
Results: Electromyography of the anterior deltoid and descending trapezius, as well as self-assessment surveys indicated fatigue occurrence; continuous tracking error, tracking velocity, and response time significantly increased with muscular fatigue.
Conclusion: Muscular fatigue concurrently degrades cognitive attentional resources.
Application: Complex tasks that rely on muscular and cognitive performance should consider interventions to reduce muscular fatigue to also preserve cognitive performance.
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Stephenson, Mitchell L.; Ostrander, Alec G.; Norasi, Hamid; and Dorneich, Michael C., "Shoulder Muscular Fatigue From Static Posture Concurrently Reduces Cognitive Attentional Resources" (2019). Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Publications. 205.