Effects of Fall Height and Impact Strategy on Energy Absorption Ratio Between Shoulder Joint and Elbow Joint

  • Paul Pei-Hsi Chou
  • Shu-Zon Lou
  • Yen-Po Huang
  • Hon-Yu Chen
  • You-Li Chou
Original Article


Falls onto an outstretched hand are the leading cause of upper extremity injury. However, little information is available regarding the effects of fall height and impact strategy on energy absorption ratio between shoulder joint and elbow joint. Twelve male subjects participated in the study. The subjects were asked to perform simulated falls from three different fall heights (5, 10 and 15) using three different conscious strategies, namely Conscious Elbow Dominant Strategy, Conscious Shoulder Dominant Strategy, and Conscious Intermediate Dominant Strategy, corresponding with three different theoretical strategies, namely Elbow Dominant Strategy, Intermediate Dominant Strategy and Shoulder Dominant Strategy for biomechanical analysis. For a fall height of 5 cm, the Elbow Dominant Strategy was found better than other impact strategies, resulting in an Optimal Energy Absorption Ratio of 1.60. For an increased fall height of 10 cm, the Intermediate Dominant Strategy was found better than other impact strategies, with an Optimal Energy Absorption Ratio of 1.99. Finally, for a fall height of 15 cm, the Shoulder Dominant Strategy was found better than other impact strategies, with an Optimal Energy Absorption Ratio of 2.40. The findings presented in this study provide a useful source of reference to clinicians, sports coaches and instructors in devising optimal fall strategies for minimizing the risk of upper extremity injuries in the event of forward falls onto the outstretched hand.


Fall height Impact strategy Energy absorption ratio Elbow joint Shoulder joint 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided to this study by the National Science Council of Taiwan.


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Copyright information

© Taiwanese Society of Biomedical Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Pei-Hsi Chou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shu-Zon Lou
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yen-Po Huang
    • 5
  • Hon-Yu Chen
    • 5
  • You-Li Chou
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Sport Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Division of Sport Medicine, Department of Orthopedic SurgeryKaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  3. 3.School of Occupational TherapyChung-Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Occupational Therapy RoomChung-Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Institute of Biomedical EngineeringNational Cheng-Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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