Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Volker Nolte


Discomfort and pressure-related tissue injury to the buttocks are common complaints among rowers. The soft tissues of the buttocks are non-uniformly loaded during rowing. The current state of literature on seating discomfort is inconclusive as to a desirable body-seat interface pressure pattern. The purpose of this study was to determine whether localising pressure under bony protuberances or diffusing pressure over soft tissues would result in the least amount of discomfort. Force sensing arrays were used to measure body-seat interface pressures in 11 elite female rowers during rowing. Peak pressure measures were identified and pressure gradients were calculated. Discomfort was quantified using a questionnaire, and pressure data were then correlated with discomfort scores.Discomfort was weakly correlated with each of maximal pressure gradient (r=0.45) and peak pressure (r=0.43). The findings indicate pressure should be redistributed in order to avoid concentrating pressure under the bony protuberances o f the buttocks.



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