Author(s): Tanaka K, Ikeda M, Mochizuki Y, Katafuchi T
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The current U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) suit is pressurized at 0.29 atm, which is much lower than the pressures of sea level and inside a space station. Higher pressure can reduce the risk of decompression sickness (DCS), but mobility would be sacrificed. We have demonstrated that a glove and sleeve made of elastic material increased mobility when compared with those made of nonelastic material, such as that found in the current suit. We hypothesized that an elastic glove of 0.65 atm that has no risk of DCS also has greater mobility compared with a non-elastic glove of 0.29 atm. METHODS: The right hands of 10 healthy volunteers were studied in a chamber with their bare hands at normal ambient pressure, after donning a non-elastic glove with a pressure differential of 0.29 atm, and after donning an elastic glove with a pressure differential of 0.29 and 0.65 atm. Range of motion (ROM) of the index finger and surface electromyography (EMG) amplitudes during finger flexion were measured. RESULTS: ROM with gloves was significantly smaller than that of bare hands, but was similar between conditions of gloves regardless of elasticity and pressure differentials. However, EMG amplitudes with the elastic glove of 0.29 and 0.65 atm were significantly smaller than those with the non-elastic glove of 0.29 atm. DISCUSSION: The results suggest that mobility of the elastic glove of 0.65 atm may be better than that of the non-elastic glove of 0.29 atm, similar to that used in the current EVA suit.
This article was published in Aviat Space Environ Med
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics