The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of anthropometric data on the kinematics of the cervical spine and the risk factors for sustaining a neck injury during rear-end collisions occurring in a sled test. A rear-end collision with a velocity change (ΔV) of 6.3 km/h was simulated in a sled test with eight healthy female subjects. The study analysed the association of anthropometric data with the initial distance between the head and the head restraint, defined kinematic characteristics, the neck injury criterion (NIC) and the neck injury criterion minor (NICmin). The head circumference is negatively associated (r = -0.598) with the initial distance between the head and the head restraint, the maximal head extension (r = -0.687) and the maximal dorsal angular head acceleration (r = -0.633). The body weight (r = 0.800), body height (r = 0.949) and thorax circumference (r = 0.632) are positively associated with the maximal ventral head translation. The neck length correlates positively with the NIC (r = 0.826) and negatively with the NICmin (r = -0.797). Anthropometric factors influence the kinematics of the cervical spine and the risk of injury. A high risk of injury may be assumed for individuals with a small head circumference, long neck, tall body height and high body weight. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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