Postural balance effects of multi-axial whole body vibration (WBV) were evaluated.
Exposure to multi-axial WBV reduced postural balance.
The tested active suspension seat reduced the effects of multi-axial WBV on balance.
The results indicate that mining vehicles' WBV may impair postural balance.
Twenty participants (18 males and 2 females) completed postural stability assessments before and after 4-h exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) in four experimental conditions: (a) vertical-dominant WBV with vertical passive air suspension, (b) multi-axial WBV with vertical passive air suspension, (c) multi-axial WBV with multi-axial active suspension, and (d) no WBV condition. Center of pressure (COP)-based postural sway measures significantly increased following multi-axial WBV exposure. Increase in COP velocity and displacement following multi-axial WBV was significantly higher than the increase in all the other exposure conditions. However, no significant differences between the WBV conditions were observed in functional limits of stability and anticipatory postural adjustments. While our results show standing balance to be impaired following the multi-axial WBV exposure of off-road mining vehicles, dynamic stability across a broader range of conditions needs to be understood to causally link postural stability decrements to increased fall-risks associated with off-road vehicle operators.