Seated leg/foot ballistic and visually-controlled movements

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


An experiment with 52 participants investigated the relationship between movement time of the leg/foot for seated persons when moving in the transverse and sagittal planes. Four amplitudes of movement and 11 values of Fitts' Index of Difficulty (ID) were used to determine conditions under which ballistic movements could be made along with the need for visual control at higher ID values. Vision of the foot was available in all movements. As with arm movements (Gan and Hoffmann, 1988) there was a critical ID value below which it was possible to use ballistic movements and where movement times were approximately linear with the square-root of movement amplitudes. Above these ID values, Fitts' law applied, with gradients dependent on the amplitude of movement, suggesting that the muscle torque applied to the leg varied with movement amplitude. The critical ID varied with the amplitude of movement as previously found for arm movements. Relevance to industry There is increasing use of the foot/leg for input to various controlling devices. Consequently it is necessary to have detailed information on the capacity of the leg/foot system to provide accurate input to a machine via a control pedal or other device. The present research provides such information over a wide range of control sizes and spacings.

Research Area(s)

  • Ballistic movements, Critical Index of Difficulty, Fitts' law, Leg/foot movements