Maintaining postural stability is crucial, especially in hazardous occupational environments. The purpose of the study was to assess the role of three occupational footwear (low top shoe (LT); tactical work boot (TB) and steel-toed work boot (WB)) on postural stability when exposed to an occupational workload (4-h) involving standing/walking using the sensory organization test (SOT) equilibrium (EQ) scores and comparing current results with previously published postural sway variables from the same study. Fourteen male adults were tested on three separate days wearing a randomized occupational footwear, at the beginning (pre) and every 30 min of the 4-h workload until 240th min. SOT EQ scores were analyzed using a 3 × 9 repeated measures analysis of variance at an alpha level of 0.05. Significant differences between footwear was found in eyes open (p = 0.03) and eyes closed (p = 0.001) conditions. Pairwise comparisons revealed that LT had significantly lower postural stability compared to TB and WB. No other significant differences were found between footwear and over time. Significant differences between footwear can be attributed to design characteristics of footwear. Lack of significant differences over time suggests that, even though the average EQ scores decreased during the workload implying less postural stability, SOT EQ scores alone may not be sufficient to detect postural stability changes over the 4-h workload.
Chander, H., Garner, J. C., Wade, C., & Knight, A. C. (2017). Postural control in workplace safety: Role of occupational footwear and workload. Safety, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3030018