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This paper considers the frequencies at which synchronised human loading from jumping and stamping can occur.
The consensus view from 1993 onwards was that the range of frequencies that a large group of people could jump and keep in synchronisation was 1.5 to 2.8Hz. However, as part of an extensive test programme monitoring different forms of grandstands during pop concerts it was noted
that, on several occasions, significant responses of the structures occurred when the frequency of the loading appeared to be faster than 2.8Hz. The paper discusses the types of human loading observed at pop concerts and the range of song beat frequencies that occurred. The paper also considers a night-club dance floor where the maximum response was measured with people jumping to a song with a beat frequency of 3.1Hz.
Following these monitoring exercises, a series of tests were performed to ascertain the first three Fourier components of the loading as a group of four people jumped to beat frequencies from 1.0 to 3.4Hz. These showed that jumping in good synchronisation at frequencies faster
than 2.8Hz was not particularly difficult, at least for a small group. Similar tests were conducted with the group stamping. The Fourier components obtained from the stamping were considerably lower than those from the jumping were but the group was able to maintain good synchronisation up to beat frequencies of at least 5Hz.
Although only a single set of tests was conducted, the results are in good agreement with those in other experiments and those measured during public events. The paper considers whether the 2.8Hz upper bound currently being used for human loading should be raised, particularly
for dance floors and areas of comparable or smaller size.
John D. Littler, PhD
Centre for Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, BRE, Watford, UK