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Effect of Lumbar Posture on Lifting

HART, DENNIS L., PT, PhD*; STOBBE, TERRENCE J., PhD; JARAIED, MAJID, PhD

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Twenty laborers assumed specific lumbar spine postures and lifted a 157 N crate to three different hand heights to determine if lumbar spine flexion moments or trunk muscle activity were affected by the lifting postures. Lumbar flexion moments were lowest when the workers used the lordotic and straight back postures, while the average erector spinae muscle activity tended to be highest in the lordotic and straight back postures. The kypohotic posture regularly reduced the activity of the erector spinae to bursts of activity while lifting and caused more discomfort during the lifting tasks than any other posture. Therefore, the lumbar lordotic posture is recommended as the posture of choice while lifting, particularly when lifting from the floor level.

*From the Division of Physical Therapy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

†From the Department of Industrial Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.