Ergonomic evaluation of two alternative handles for shovels and rakes designed to prevent low back pain
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Industrial, Welding and Systems Engineering Honors Theses; 2006
Two handle attachments that are designed to decrease the bending and twisting encountered while shoveling and raking have become commercially available: the BackSaver Grip and the Backsaving Handle™. This study aimed to investigate the effects that the two aids have on the lower back in these activities. Fourteen subjects performed raking and shoveling tasks. MotionMonitor™ (Innovative Sports Training, Inc.) hardware and software, and force-plates were employed to record the continuous motion of subjects performing these tasks. Lateral bending, flexion, and twisting angular displacements and moments were calculated for each subject. The effects of the aids were evaluated using SAS software (SAS Institute, Inc.). The study found that both handles significantly reduce twisting moment, twist angle, and flexion angle during the shoveling task. When using the handles during raking task, only flexion was significantly reduced. In conclusion, the products present a possible way to decrease the risk factors associated with raking and shoveling. Advisor: Dr. Steven Lavender
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