Combined effect of whole-body vibration and ambient lighting on human discomfort, heart rate, and reaction time

  • Mohammad Reza Monazzam
  • Esmaeil Shoja
  • Seyed Abolfazl Zakerian
  • Abbas Rahimi Foroushani
  • Mohsen Shoja
  • Masoumeh Gharaee
  • Amin Asgari
Original Article



This study aimed to investigate the effect of whole-body vibration and ambient lighting, as well as their combined effect on human discomfort, heart rate, and reaction time in laboratory conditions.


44 men were recruited with an average age of 25.4 ± 1.9 years. Each participant was subjected to 12 experimental steps, each step lasting five minutes for four different vibration accelerations in X, Y, and Z axes at a fixed frequency; three different lighting intensities of 50, 500, and 1000 lx were also considered. At each step, a visual computerized reaction test was taken from subjects and their heart rate recorded by pulse oximeter. In addition, the discomfort rate of subjects was measured using Borg scale.


Increasing vibration acceleration significantly increased the discomfort rate and heart beat but not the reaction time. Lack of lighting caused more discomfort in the subjects, but there was no significant correlation between lighting intensity with heart rate and reaction time. The results also showed that the combined effect of vibration and lighting had no significant effect on any of the discomfort, heart rate, and reaction time variables.


Whole-body vibration is an important factor in the development of human subjective and physiological reactions compared to lighting. Therefore, consideration of the level of vibration to which an individual is exposed in workplaces subject to vibration plays an important role in reducing the level of human discomfort, but its interaction with ambient lighting does not have a significant effect on human subjective and physiological responses.


Discomfort Whole-body vibration Reaction time Lighting intensity Heart rate 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to the students from the School of Health for contributing to the project. They also thank Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) who provided financial and scientific support for this research.


This study was funded by Grants from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) (Grant no.: 91-03-101-18152).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures involving human participants were approved for human subject protection by the Ethics Committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Occupational Hygiene Department, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Hygiene EngineeringEsfarayen Faculty of Medical SciencesEsfarayenIran
  3. 3.Epidemiology and Biostatistics DepartmentTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyEsfarayen Faculty of Medical SciencesEsfarayenIran
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthArdabil University of Medical SciencesArdabilIran

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