Sleep and activity measurement in search and rescue aircraft crews using novel sensing technologies.
May, Gregory and Warrington, Giles (2012) Sleep and activity measurement in search and rescue aircraft crews using novel sensing technologies. In: American College of Sports Medicine Anual Meeting 2012, 29 May - 2 Jun 2012, San Francisco.
Full text available as:
Helicopter search and rescue crews (SARC) remain on 24 hour alert. This requires the SARC to remain in a state of readiness and maximise sleep opportunities. When on duty, depending on their proximity to the SAR base, crew members may either sleep on-base or at home. These factors may lead to possible variations in the level of physical activity (PA), sleep duration (Sdur) and sleep efficiency (Sef). Purpose: To investigate the levels of PA, Sdur, and Sef of members of the SARC during a 24 hour on-call shift using several novel sensing technologies. Method: Ten members of the Dublin SARC (mean ± SD: age 40 ± 5 years; height 1.76 ± 0.06m; mass 89.2 ± 14 kg; 5 on-base, 5 off-base) were instrumented with 2 tri-axial accelerometers (XL) and a Sensewear armband (SW) with an internal accelerometer (SWXL). The XL were placed on the right ankle and right hip with the SW placed on the left triceps. Data was recorded for a 26 hour period during which the subjects kept a written record of their activity. Total estimated energy expenditure (tEEE), Seff and Sdur were calculated for each sensor during the 24 hour period. Sleep periods were verified for each subject using a written activity log. Results: Group: Based on the placement location of the sensors (ankle; waist; triceps) significant differences were observed for tEEE (1093.9kcal ± 329.8kcal; 502kcal ± 211.5 kcal; 2371.1kcal ± 838.2kcal , p<0.01). Sleep indices calculated from the SW were seen to be significantly different to the XL data, but not between the XL units themselves (triceps vs. ankle; waist): Sef (72.8% ± 18.5% vs. 96.3% ± 2.6%; 97.3% ± 1.9%, p<0.01) and Sdur ( 257.9mins ± 80.1mins vs. 371.3mins ± 49.0mins; 379.6mins ± 53.9mins, p<0.01). Home vs Base: Significant differences were seen for tEEE for the SW (1907.0kcal ± 397.3kcal vs. 2835.2kcal ± 940.4kcal, p<0.01) and SWXL (193.8kcal ± 63.2kcal vs. 893.2kcal ± 564.2kcal, p<0.01). Similarly a significant difference was observed for Seff (231.4mins ± 82.1mins; vs. 284.4mins ± 77mins, p<0.01) on the SW. Conclusion: The location of the sensor utilised to measure PA and sleep indices in SARC members appears to play a vital role in determining the accuracy of measurement. The SW recorded significant differences in PA levels and Sdur between SARC on-base and off-base. Further research is required to determine if this holds true for a larger sample size.
Archive Staff Only: edit this record