SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Methods for Assessing Protective Clothing Effects on Worker Mobility


Worker mobility in protective clothing can be assessed both objectively through range of motion (ROM) measurement, and subjectively through perceived freedom of movement. Ten male subjects performed a set of gross body movements while wearing coveralls that were undersized, appropriately sized, and oversized. ROM measurements were collected simultaneously with a universal goniometer and an electrogoniometer, and with a Leighton Flexometer and an electrogoniometer. Subjects rated the perceived impediment and comfort of each of nine test garments, using a Rating of Perceived Impediment, and a comfort rating system. The universal goniometer was found to be less expensive, easier to use, more sensitive, more durable, and less intrusive than either the Flexometer or the electrogoniometer. Subjective measures were positively correlated with each other, and with the objective measures. The subjective rating scales developed for this study can easily be adapted for use with ASTM F 1154-88, “Standard Practices for Qualitatively Evaluating the Comfort, Fit, Function, and Integrity of Chemical-Protective Suit Ensembles.”

Author Information

Adams, PS
Occupational Safety Program, Department of Health Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Keyserling, WM
Center for Ergonomics, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 311–326
DOI: 10.1520/STP14077S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5317-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1987-1