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The University of Southampton
Human Factors Research Unit (HFRU)

Whole-body vibration


Fundamental studies of effects of sinusoidal, random, and multi-axis vibration and shocks on comfort.

The development of techniques for evaluating complex motions (e.g. frequency weightings, vibration dose value). Applied studies involving the simulation of recorded vibration in road, off-road, rail, marine and aerospace environments.


Fundamental studies of mechanisms involved in the effects of vibration on input processes (vision), central processes (cognition), and output processes (manual control). Applied studies of displays and controls for specific environments and the production of design guides.

Studies with helmet-mounted displays, helmet-mounted sights, and other aspects of virtual displays and controls, including eye-controlled systems.

Effects of motions on stability of standing persons. Interaction between walking and floor motion.


Physiological responses to vibration and motion, including the response of back muscles to vibration and sitting posture. Derivation of guidance for whole-body vibration from physiological, psychological, and biodynamic responses to whole-body vibration.

Low magnitude vibration

Absolute thresholds and difference thresholds for the perception of whole-body vibration. Laboratory and field studies to develop guidance for evaluating vibration in buildings. Response to combined noise and vibration.

Biodynamic studies

Transmission of each of six axes of vibration to the head for both seated and standing persons.

Mechanical impedance of seated persons in each of three translational axes. Effects of posture, seating conditions, and other sources of inter-subject variability on the transmissibility and impedance of the body. Development of models of biodynamic responses.


Development of objective methods of measuring, evaluating, and assessing seating dynamics and predicting seat comfort.

Laboratory and field assessments of the dynamic performance of seats. Development of indicators of seat vibration isolation efficiency (e.g. SEAT). Design guides for seats in specific environments.

Methods of predicting seat dynamic performance from measures of the apparent mass of the body and seat dynamic stiffness.

Development of anthropodynamic dummies for seat testing without human subjects.

Dynamic models of seats, including suspension seats.

Field studies

Measurement, evaluation, and assessment of vibration in road, off-road, rail, air and sea transport and in

Fundamental studies of effects of sinusoidal, random, and multi-axis vibration and shocks on comfort
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