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Work. 2017;56(2):247-255. doi: 10.3233/WOR-172481.

Associations between trunk flexion and physical activity of patient care workers for a single shift: A pilot study.

Author information

1
Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CA, USA.
3
Centre for Sport and Exercise Education, Camosun College, Victoria, BC, Canada.
4
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Department of Occupational Health, Partners HealthCare, Inc., Boston, MA, USA.
6
Department of Health Systems Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
7
Center for Community Based Research, Dana Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.
8
Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Trunk flexion and occupational physical activity are parameters that have been used to assess and characterize jobs with high physical demands.

OBJECTIVE:

Characterize the physical load of trunk flexion and physical activity of patient care unit (PCU) workers during a single work shift.

METHODS:

Participants wore an accelerometer to measure physical activity and an inclinometer to assess trunk flexion during a single work shift, which was compared using correlation and linear regression analyses.

RESULTS:

Participants spent 74% of their work time upright between - 10° to 20° and 19% of their time flexed between 20° to 45°. On average workers spent 3% and 5% of their time, in the extreme postures of less than - 10° and greater than 45°, respectively. Participants spent 99% of their shift below moderate and vigorous activity. The largest correlation found was between the number of forward trunk flexions to 20° degrees per shift and minutes in lifestyle activity (r = 0.6, p < 0.001). No correlations between minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity and trunk flexion were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that the physical demands of patient care unit workers as measured through trunk flexion are associated with lifestyle and light levels of physical activity.

KEYWORDS:

Posture; and bending; ergonomics; workload

PMID:
28211832
DOI:
10.3233/WOR-172481
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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