Unexpected sudden (un)loading of the trunk may induce inadequate responses of trunk muscles and uncontrolled trunk motion. These unexpected perturbations may occur in pushing tasks, when the cart suddenly starts moving (unloading) or is blocked by an obstacle (loading). In pushing, handle height affects the user's working posture, which may influence trunk muscle activity and trunk movement in response to the perturbation. Eleven healthy male subjects pushed a 200 kg cart with handles at shoulder and hip height in a start condition (sudden release of brakes) and a stop condition (bumping into an obstacle). Before the perturbation, the baseline of the trunk inclination, internal moment and trunk extensor muscle activity were significantly higher when pushing at hip height than at shoulder height. After the perturbation, the changes in trunk inclination and internal moment were significantly larger when pushing at shoulder height than at hip height in both conditions. The opposite directions of changes in trunk inclination and internal moment suggest that the unexpected perturbations caused uncontrolled trunk motion. Pushing at shoulder height may impose a high risk of low-back injury due to the low trunk stiffness and large involuntary trunk motion occurring after carts suddenly move or stop. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
|Journal||Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|