In order to maintain crewmember health during long-duration space flight, exercise is performed to strengthen the body. There will be a need for crewmembers to exercise while in a transit vehicle, which will require a compact exercise device that is capable of allowing exercise at loads that will be beneficial to crew health. As design prototypes are created, there is a need to evaluate the device concepts in order to assess the potential for a given design to meet exercise prescription criteria. The purpose of this evaluation is to quantify the response of the High Eccentric Resistive Overload Exercise Device (HERO) during typical exercise actions by healthy subjects. The data will be used to evaluate the device as a potential exercise countermeasure device for use inflight.
The HERO device works by making use of the energy storage capabilities of compressed air. The device uses a commercially available air cylinder which helps provide the constant force needed for resistive exercise. Also, the device incorporates a motor assembly to allow for a pre-defined eccentric overload (i.e. higher load on the return stroke) of up to 40 pounds. Based on current research this eccentric overload is beneficial in maintaining bone and muscle health.
++ -- View more
Data was collected on 11 subjects at NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Exercise Countermeasures Lab or at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Biomechanics Lab. Resistance exercise was performed using the HERO Assembly with a barbell bar that was an integrated part of the HERO device. A data acquisition station was located in close proximity to the device. Each subject completed one data collection session. A minimum of three test operators were present during each session, the Principal Investigator/Spotter, a HERO Computer Operator, and an additional Engineer/Spotter. Subjects initially received an overview of the system and given an opportunity to ask questions. Prior to any data collection, each subject performed a brief stretching exercise. The subjects started when they were ready to begin the resistance exercise tests. Video and photographs were taken of the subjects at different times performing various exercises throughout the evaluation. Each subject was given a questionnaire at the completion of each exercise during the testing session regarding their experience with the device. Questions were asked regarding form, comfort, and muscle and joint discomfort and answers were recorded by one of the test operators immediately after each exercise was completed.
This experiment is complete. Data was used only to characterize capabilities of the exercise device. No data will be published; this is an engineering evaluation only.