A “major” cause of back injuries is poor posture. Lifting may be a proximate cause, but poor posture exacerbates the risk of the underlying activity.)
“It is estimated that only 4% of back injuries are the result of a single-incident injury”
Donajkowski, 1993, Muir, 1994
“Back disorders and non-neutral trunk postures of automobile assembly workers”
Laura Punnett, ScD, Don Chaffin, PhD, et al, demonstrated: “…a strong and consistent relationship between occupational exposure to non-neutral truck postures
(bending, twisting, etc.) and musculoskeletal disorders of the back.”
These studies cite the increased risk brought on solely by poor body mechanics. Poor posture during a forceful activity increases the risk and, over a long period of time (repetitive motion), weakens the structure. Poor posture also contributes to back pain and fatigue. End-of-day back pain is symptomatic of poor posture during the day. Postural transitions are habits, and must be corrected at the “behavioral level”. Whereas ergonomic design or administrative controls reduce risk somewhat, they dont necessarily address or correct the body mechanic portion of the risk.
l alone has been proven to enhance posture, by changing behavior
“Postural Evaluation of a New Back Belt Design” (reprints available)
Marvin Dainoff, PhD, Miami of OhioU.
The study compared differences in posture when sitting during reaching tasks, while wearingconcluding it “created proprioceptive feedback, warning of the approach of the safe limits of motion”.
Important: The study did not analyze lifting tasks, where the user consciously assesses the risk, and changes in posture are not necessarily attributable to the support device. Without the perceived lifting risk, subjects did not focus on posture (consciously or otherwise), so the results are attributable solely to the back support.
l Elastic back supports, previously used to prevent lifting injuries, dont work.
“A prospective study of back belts for the prevention of back pain and injury”
James Wassell, PhD, et al, National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) covering 9,000 workers at WalMart (reprints available)
Published in JAMA, no reduction in injury or pain incidence, by wearing an elastic back belt.
ERGO:alone does what a back belt should, improve posture, and doesnt cause harm (muscle atrophy) – the perfect back support
Elastic belts weaken muscle strength (atrophy),doesnt.
Letter from the AOASM (Academy of Sports Medicine):
“The risk of muscle atrophy is caused by elastic belts doing the work that the muscles would normally be recruited to do. In contrast,, with its non-stretch belt, will stimulate the abdominal muscles by providing resistance. Similarly, with its lumbar pad to promote lordosis, it should stimulate the erector muscles as well.”