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Evaluation for flood evacuation from Japan


The objective of this study is to measure muscle activity during stair-climbing in order to estimate the water depth with which people can evacuate safely from urban underground. A life-size model of a staircase with a water pump that generated water flow from the top of stairs was constructed. In the present study, electromyogram data were measured for six muscles on the right lower extremity, namely, the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, long head of the biceps femoris, medial gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, and gluteus maximus. From the results, the GM exhibited the highest muscle activity in the latter part of the stance phase, suggesting that the subjects tended to avoid stumbling against the stream of the water during ankle planter flexion. The results obtained from this study would be used for the construction of the guideline of evacuation from urban underground in flood disaster.

Hosting Federated Society

JES, Japan


Network of Ergonomics Societies Conference (SEANES), 2012 Southeast Asian


Kentaro Kotani   Taisuke Ishigaki   Satoshi Suzuki   Takafumi Asao   Yasuyuki Baba   Keiichi Toda  


kotani@kansai-u.ac.jp (Kentaro Kotani)


Figure 1
A life-size model of a staircase with a water pump that generated water flow from the top of stairs was constructed. Figure 1 shows a photograph taken during evacuation trials along the stairs. (Left: water depth = 10 cm at the ground level, Right: water depth = 40 cm at the ground level, The hard hat was worn when the water depth was 30 and 40 cm. The life rope was used at the water depth of 40 cm.)

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Validation study

Figure 2 shows the normalized electromyographic activities of the six muscles during stair-climbing under different water depths. In the figure, the relative difference in the time to complete stair-climbing was normalized in accordance with their stride cycle. The EMG data were averaged across all subjects.
The following abbreviations were used for each muscle shown in the figure: (rectus femoris (RF): top left, vastus lateralis (VL): top right, long head of the biceps femoris (BF): middle left, gluteus maximus (GL): middle right, tibialis anterior (TA): bottom left, gastrocnemius medialis (GA): bottom right). The vertical lines in each figure indicate the separation between the stance phase (0%–60% of the stride cycle) and the swing phase (60%–100% of the stride cycle) at the 60% completion of the stride cycle.

Figure 2

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