Document Type : Full Research Paper


1 Ph.D. student and Faculty Member of Biomechanical Eng. Group, Biomedical Eng. Department, Science and Research Branch

2 Associate Professor of Biomechanical Eng. Group, Department of Biomedical Eng., Amirkabir University of Technology

3 Associate Professor of the Department of the Orthopedics, Iran University of Medical Sciences



Ergonomic factors have a direct influence on the quality of spine support during sleep. Previous studies have shown that a mattress with a homogeneous stiffness can not necessarily maintain the natural spinal alignment. Using mattresses with components of different stiffness could be considered as a possible solution instead. In this research a new mattress system having elements with different stiffness has been designed. The springs used in this mattress has been combined with a special slice of polyurethane foam, and each of them has its own specific spring constant. After acquiring the anthropometrical data of 25 male volunteers, they were asked to lie in a lateral position on soft and very stiff surfaces according to predefined conditions. Then the coordinates of the markers mounted on their spinous processes were registered through the optical tracking methods. In the next step the arrangement of the foam-spring elements were changed for each subject several times, in order to spinal alignment in a frontal plane was close to his normal alignment corresponding to the upright position. The post-processing of acquired data was considered off line.In order to qualify our experiments the BRG.LifeMod was used to model body position when lying on a mattress. The anthropometrical data of 4 subjects were used for the dimensional indexes of model. Several numerical models were built with several surfaces corresponding to the experimental essays. Once again the spinal alignment extracted. Results of both experimental and numerical modeling showed that the mattress with custom-made arrangement of the elements is an appropriate solution for the optimal support of the spine during sleep. The numerical modeling was able to predict the spinal alignment. The results of this research can be very useful in designing the custom-made sleep systems according to the ergonomic factors.


Main Subjects

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