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respirators to in n95 physiological sitting subjective of breathing filtering responses and resistance still facepiece

Physiological and subjective responses to breathing resistance of N95 filtering facepiece respirators in still-sitting
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Physiological and subjective responses to breathing resistance of N95 filtering facepiece respirators in still-sitting and walking

Yumiao Chen a, Zhongliang Yang b, *, Jianping Wang a, Hugh Gong c
a Fashion Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai 200051, China
b College of Mechanical Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
c School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the impact of breathing resistance on physiological and subjective responses to N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) during still-sitting and walking. Fifteen subjects sat for 5 min and walked for 5 min while wearing 2 different models of N95 FFRs, 1 model of which was equipped with exhalation valves (N95 FFR/EV). The subjects were monitored by a modified monitoring garment for respiratory signals (RSP) and surface electromyography (sEMG). Subjects also were asked to complete subjective ratings of overall breathing resistance. The results of the physiological measurements in this study have shown that compared with no respirator, wearing N95 FFR had a direct effect on increasing respiratory amplitude, muscle activity and fatigue of abdominal, and fatigue of scalene; The use of N95 FFR/EV conferred limited physiological benefit over N95 FFR in walking; Compared with sitting still, walking significantly decreased respiratory amplitude, but increased respiratory rate, the muscle activity of sternomastoid, scalene, diaphragm and abdominal, the fatigue of scalene and intercostal. The subjective survey showed that wearing respirators and walking had a direct effect on improving the subjective overall breathing resistance. Significantly low to moderate correlation coefficients were shown between physiological values (respiratory amplitude, the muscle activity of diaphragm, the muscle activity and fatigue of scalene and abdominal), and the subjective breathing resistance. This is the first reported study that combines RSP, sEMG and subjective overall breathing resistance to evaluate breathing resistance on the use of N95 FFR in sitting still and walking. The physiological responses to breathing resistance of wearing a N95 FFR for 5 min in still-sitting and walking are relatively small and should generally be well tolerated by healthy persons

Relevance to industry

This paper's findings can be readily employed by respirator manufactures and administrations for evaluating the respiratory muscle function (activity, fatigue) and breathing parameters of wearing N95 FFRs. Observations of present study are in support of issuing new regulations to raise the limit for breathing resistance over short periods at low-moderate exertion tasks. Thus, the manufacturers could easily fulfill the requirements for collection efficiency by adding more filter media while still meeting the requirements for air resistance

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