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Hum Factors. 2012 Dec;54(6):1053-65.

Estimating 3-D L5/S1 moments during manual lifting using a video coding system: validity and interrater reliability.

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  • 1Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 71 Frankland Rd., Hopkinton, MA 01748, USA.



The aim of the study was to investigate the validity and interrater reliability of using a proposed video coding system to estimate the dynamical 3-D L5/ S1 joint moment on the basis of four key frames from video clips of asymmetric lifting tasks.


L5/S1 joint loading has been widely adopted to quantify low-back loading during lifting tasks. However, the measurement of L5/S1 joint loading usually requires a laboratory environment, which cannot be applied during field surveys.


The validity of this system was investigated by comparing the estimated L5/S1 joint moments of various simulated lifting tasks with motion tracking system-based reference L5/S1 joint moments.


The comparison showed that the video coding system yielded good estimates on peak moment (r = .91, average absolute error [AAE] = 20.3 Nm) and cumulative moment (r = .88,AAE = 22.5 Nm.sec) of the sagittal plane. The interrater reliability of this system was assessed among 10 raters who used this system. The intraclass correlation ranged between .51 and .89 for the moments of different planes.


The results of the validity and interrater reliability analyses showed that the proposed video coding system could provide a good estimate of total L5/S1 joint loading on the basis of side-view video clips of the simulated lifting tasks.


Although it was not as accurate as a motion tracking system for L5/S1 joint loading calculations, this approach can be an alternative for back load estimation for some lifting configurations when the use of motion tracking systems is not possible.

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