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The human factors/ergonomics studies for respirators: a review and future work

Yumiao Chen (Fashion - Art Design Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai, China.)
Jianping Wang (Fashion - Art Design Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai, China.)
Zhongliang Yang (College of Mechanical Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai, China.)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 7 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the human factors/ergonomics (HFE) studies for respirator.


This review paper describes and discusses the various factors and methodologies of HFE, for the purpose of better considering human factors, used in respirator studies and further human-centered product development.


Many attempts have been made to study human factors for respirators mainly including fit, human performance, comfort, and mood. Physical, psychological, and physiological indices of people are extremely valuable to HFE studies for respirator. Objective and subjective measures were methodologies widely used. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were adopted to illustrate the human performance and well-being influenced by respirators. A summary table presented with major methods used for indices of respirators in the field of HFE. According to the current researches, this review indicated three particular challenges facing HFE studies of respirators now.

Practical implications

With the ever increasing role of protection from air pollution in society, respirator has become an increasingly important part of our daily lives. HFE intervene in optimizing the relationships between respirators and the human using them. Plenty of efforts have been dedicated for the development of protection capability, but HFE studies for respirators are lacking. In recent years, there has been a tremendous interest in introducing HFE research methods that can evaluate respirators from the perspective of human and translate them into constraints for designing human-centered respirators.


This is a first paper in the field of HFE studies for respirator, which will remain helpful to the scientific community to start further human-centered research work and product development.



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51305077) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2232013D3-31).


Chen, Y., Wang, J. and Yang, Z. (2015), "The human factors/ergonomics studies for respirators: a review and future work", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 652-676.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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