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Ergonomics. 2009 Dec;52(12):1568-75. doi: 10.1080/00140130903287999.

Biomechanical analysis for handle stability during maximum push and pull exertions.

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Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA.


This study investigated the effect of handle stability on maximum push/pull force. It was hypothesised that people apply force in directions deviated from the pure push/pull direction to generate a moment that assists producing greater push/pull force when the handle position is fixed (stable) compared to when it is not fixed (unstable). Eight healthy subjects performed maximum push and pull exertions on a stable and an unstable handle in a seated posture, while maximum push/pull force, vertical force and lateral force were recorded. For the unstable handle, vertical and lateral forces were not different from zero during push and pull. For the stable handle, subjects intuitively applied significant downward force during push and significant upward force during pull exertions. As predicted from biomechanical analysis, this downward and upward force was found to be significantly associated with increased push and pull force, respectively, for the stable handle compared to the unstable handle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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