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J Biomech. 2013 Oct 18;46(15):2688-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.07.034. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

The effect of an on-body assistive device on transverse plane trunk coordination during a load carriage task.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, 28 Division Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.


Load carriage is a physically demanding task that is often required of employees in many different occupations. The Mover's Assistive Device (MAD) is an on-body ergonomic assistive device designed to help professional movers transfer boxes during two techniques of hand-held load carriage: anterior carriage and posterior carriage. The purpose of this study was to examine the intersegment coordination between the trunk and pelvis as well as the trunk and box, since coordination may be a mechanism to reduce the amount of stress exerted on the back during load carriage. Thirteen males completed a hand-held load carriage task in a laboratory setting using two popular techniques employed by professional movers (anterior/posterior), with and without the assistance of the Mover's Assistive Device (MAD); resulting in a total of four conditions. Triads of retro-reflective markers tracked the angular positions of the trunk, pelvis and the load being carried. Intersegment coordination between the trunk-pelvis and the box-trunk were measured using continuous relative phase angles in the transverse plane of motion. No trunk coordination differences were observed across carrying techniques (anterior/posterior); however, under all conditions users walked with a near in-phase coordination pattern, which is believed to help reduce the risk of injury. MAD use resulted in decreased perceived discomfort and more in-phase coordination between the trunk-pelvis, which may help reduce injury risk when carrying loads either anteriorly or posteriorly.


Assistive device; Continuous relative phase; Intersegment coordination; Kinematics; Load carriage

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