Manual handling: differences in perceived effort, success rate and kinematics between three different pushing techniques

This study examined the perceived effort, success rates and kinematics for three push strategies in a simulated lateral patient transfer (horizontal slide). Thirteen healthy subjects (four males) completed three repetition pushing loads of 6, 10 and 14 kg in random order; with a spontaneous push strategy, then with a straight-back bent-knees (squat) strategy and the preparatory pelvic movement (‘rockback') strategy in random order. Perceived effort and kinematic parameters measured at the onset of movement and at maximum push excursion were compared between strategies and between loads with repeated measures ANOVA. The spontaneous and ‘rockback' strategies achieved the pushing task with less perceived effort across all loads than the squat push (P < 0.001). Only 3/13 participants were successful on all attempts at pushing the 14 kg load using a squat strategy, which contrasted with 12/13 participants when the spontaneous strategy or the ‘rockback' strategy was used. Forward movement of the pelvis and forward trunk inclination may be positively associated with lower perceived effort in the push task.

Source: Lynn Varcin, Andrew Claus, Wolbert van den Hoorn & Paul Hodges. Ergonomics, Volume 58,  Issue 2, 2015.

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