Saf Health Work.  2011 Sep;2(3):236-242.

Prediction of Peak Back Compressive Forces as a Function of Lifting Speed and Compressive Forces at Lift Origin and Destination: A Pilot Study

  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake, UT, USA.


OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of predicting static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces based on (1) static back compressive force values at the lift origin and destination and (2) lifting speed.
Ten male subjects performed symmetric mid-sagittal floor-to-shoulder, floor-to-waist, and waist-to-shoulder lifts at three different speeds (slow, medium, and fast), and with two different loads (light and heavy). Two-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were captured. Linear regression analyses were used to develop prediction equations, the amount of predictability, and significance for static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces based on a static origin and destination average (SODA) back-compressive force.
Static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces were highly predicted by the SODA, with R2 values ranging from 0.830 to 0.947. Slopes were significantly different between slow and fast lifting speeds (p < 0.05) for the dynamic peak prediction equations. The slope of the regression line for static prediction was significantly greater than one with a significant positive intercept value.
SODA under-predict both static and dynamic peak back-compressive force values. Peak values are highly predictable and could be readily determined using back-compressive force assessments at the origin and destination of a lifting task. This could be valuable for enhancing job design and analysis in the workplace and for large-scale studies where a full analysis of each lifting task is not feasible.


Lifting; Biomechanics; Linear models; Workplace; Risk assessment
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