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Appl Ergon. 2012 Jul;43(4):650-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Nov 5.

Comparison of Infant Car Seat grip orientations and lift strategies.

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North Carolina State University, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


The rear-facing Infant Car Seat (ICS) is designed to meet federal requirements for transporting children less than 1 year old. Typical use includes transfer in and out of a vehicle, which is shown to be a difficult lift. Despite the frequency of this lift, manufacturers provide little guidance for users. Review of relevant literature suggested an ICS featuring an angled handle, promoting a neutral wrist posture, would increase grip stability and decrease lifting effort. Popular press suggested a foot-in-car stance for the ICS lift would do the same. An experiment was conducted in which wrist deviations from neutral posture were recorded along with lifting muscle activation levels (multiple flexor muscles and biceps brachii) and overall perceived exertion for straight versus a new bent handle design and conventional stance versus foot-in-car. Foot position was examined to test the recommendations in the popular press. Surprisingly, wrist deviation was not significantly affected by the new bent handle design (due to compensatory behavior with the straight handle) but was related to foot placement (p=0.04). Results revealed the bent handle to significantly reduce flexor activation compared with the straight handle (p=0.0003); however, the level of biceps activation increased. Biceps activation also significantly increased for foot-in-car stance (p=0.035) but not flexor activation. In general, the bent handle enabled the user to lift the ICS with a steadier grip and less effort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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