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A New Harness for Use with Exercise Countermeasures - Validation of Improved Comfort and Loading with the Center for Space Medicine (CSM) Harness (SDTO_17013_U)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Exercise physiology
Human factors
Muscle physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The International Space Station (ISS) treadmill harness and Series Bungee System (SBS) Bungee System design have been reported to cause pain and discomfort to crewmembers during exercise and may contribute to sub-optimal subject load device settings (approximately 65% body weight) during treadmill exercise. Debriefs from Expeditions 11 through 14 revealed that crewmembers consistently report pain, discomfort, and/or harness fit/adjustment issues regarding the comfort of the ISS treadmill harness under load. Comments from the debriefs also reported that pain and discomfort results not only from the ISS treadmill harness itself, but also with the SBS Bungee 'French Clips' and/or upper end plates. The ISS treadmill harness has been shown to cause broken skin, bleeding, and scarring in the shoulders and/or hips of some crewmembers. The SBS Bungee clips have been reported to chafe against the upper thigh/hip during exercise and have caused scarring in some crewmembers.

The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate a new treadmill harness design for comfort during exercise, and measure the loads in the harness straps for direct comparison with the current U.S. Treadmill with Vibration and Isolation System (TVIS) Harness. The Station Detailed Test Objective (SDTO) research protocol was aimed at improving comfort, plus increasing consistent loading for crewmembers exercising on the ISS treadmill. The Center for Space Medicine (CSM) Harnesses was instrumented to allow for objective correlation with subjective ratings of comfort. To provide a direct comparison with the ISS treadmill harness, the load distribution, and subject load device, (loading applied to the ISS treadmill harness) was also measured. The ISS treadmill harnesses were instrumented by the crew on-orbit during a one-time set up activity.

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Novotny SC, Perusek GP, Rice AJ, Comstock BA, Bansal A, and Cavanagh PR. A harness for enhanced comfort and loading during treadmill exercise in space. Acta Astronautica. 2013. August-September; 89:205-14. [DOI]

Exercise test

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Hardware evaluation
Harness comfort assessment
Harness fit assessment
Harness function assessment
Hip load ratio
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 20 05/27/2009 10/11/2009 137 days
Expedition 21 10/11/2009 12/01/2009 51 days
Expedition 22 11/30/2009 03/18/2010 109 days
Expedition 23 03/18/2010 06/01/2010 75 days
Expedition 24 06/01/2010 09/25/2010 117 days
Expedition 25 09/24/2010 11/25/2010 31 days

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
CSM Harness
Glenn Harness
Harness SDTO
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research
Hardware Items