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Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2006 Jun;21(5):456-65. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

An on-body personal lift augmentation device (PLAD) reduces EMG amplitude of erector spinae during lifting tasks.

Author information

  • 1Biomechanics and Ergonomics lab, Rm 148, PEC, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada K7L3N6. 0ema@qlink.queensu.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A new on-body personal lift augmentation device was developed to support the back muscles during the repetitive lifting task.

METHODS:

Nine male subjects participated in the study. Three Fastrak units were used to record positions and rotations of the segments. Trunk muscle normalized and integrated electromyography of the left and right thoracic erector spinae, lumbar erector spinae, external obliques, and rectus abdominis, as well as the kinematic variables of peak lumbar angle, peak pelvis angle, peak trunk acceleration, peak load acceleration were compared in symmetrical lifting for three different loads (5 kg, 15 kg, 25 kg) with three different styles (stooped, squat, free) under two conditions of with and without personal lift assist device.

FINDINGS:

The lift assist device significantly reduced the required muscular effort of the lumbar (p = 0.001) and thoracic erector spinae with no significant differences in the level of abdominal muscle activity. The amount of integrated electromyography reduction ranged from 14.4% to 27.6% for the lumbar and thoracic erector spinae respectively. Simple measures of trunk posture and accelerations confirmed that there were no differences in lifting technique that would cause the integrated electromyography activity to be reduced. No major kinematic differences were found when the lift assist device was worn indicating that it did not alter these specific technique variables.

INTERPRETATION:

The lift assist device did reduce the required muscular effort of the lumbar and thoracic erector spinae without adversely affecting the level of abdominal muscle activity. This reduction may help reduce the risk of recurring back injuries or assist in the return to work phase, especially in repetitive tasks.

PMID:
16494978
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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