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Quantitative Measurement of Stressful Trunk Postures in Nursing Professions
Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention.
2007 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 51, no 4, 385-395 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION:

The evaluation of stress to the spinal column in the provision of care has mostly concentrated on the handling of loads. However, awkward body postures alone, without load transfer, can also be stressful for the spinal column. Therefore in this study all the body postures and movements of nurses were quantitatively measured within a working shift.

METHODS:

The body postures were recorded with the CUELA measurement system (computer-assisted recording and long-term analysis of musculoskeletal loads), coupled to the individual, and this detected all movements of the trunk and the legs. These measurements were supported by video recordings, so that exact allocation of the measured data to the tasks performed was possible. In all, 24 shift measurements were carried out in 8 wards. Extent, frequency and duration of trunk postures were measured in three planes and assessed on the basis of several standards (DIN EN 1005-1, DIN EN 1005-4, ISO 11226).

RESULTS:

A mean of 1131 (+/-377) trunk inclinations of >20 degrees were performed in each shift. This corresponds to a frequency of 3.5 min(-1). A total of 237 of these inclinations lasted for >4 s. A total of 72 (+/-35) min was spent bending forward with an inclination of >20 degrees . However, the mean time spent in transferring patients (counting only the lifting process) and heavy materials was only 2 min per shift. Postures with trunk inclination of >60 degrees were adopted for a mean of 175 (+/-133) times. The main tasks responsible for this were 'bed making' (21%), 'basic care' (16%) and 'clearing up/cleaning' (16%).

CONCLUSIONS:

It could be shown that many stressful trunk postures are assumed in nursing work during a shift. Future preventive measures should therefore consider not only load handling but also tasks with awkward postures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 51, no 4, 385-395 p.
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143531DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/mem018ISI: 000249763100005PubMedID: 17715425Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-34548269579OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143531DiVA: diva2:706979
Note

QC 20140324

Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2014-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Impact of Stressful Postures on the Physical Workload in Nursing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Stressful Postures on the Physical Workload in Nursing
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Nursing staff have an elevated risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, in particular in the lower back area. Statistics produced by leading industrial nations show that back problems are the world’s number one work-related health problem, and that healthcare workers suffer from a greater occurrence of such problems than workers in other professions. In this context, many studies have examined manual patient handling activities, which was thought to be the main cause of musculoskeletal disorders of the lower back. But nurses have many other types of work to perform and several reviews have concluded that approaches which only focus on manual patient handling activities do not sufficiently reduce back problems in nursing professions.

Other risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders of the lower back discussed in the literature included repeated bending and the high proportion of static trunk postures. The main aim of this doctoral thesis was therefore to examine the influence of stressful trunk postures on the physical workload of nursing staff in hospitals and nursing homes. It focuses on the type, number and extent of stressful postures and on identifying activities that encourage their occurrence. We used our findings to derive strategies for reducing stressful postures in nursing, and examined whether nursing staff regard such a reduction as actually relieving their physical workload.

A secondary aim was to consider the older people potentially in need of care. The background to this is that, due to steadily rising costs, many older people are unable to afford care in a nursing home, and additionally that the forecast severe shortage of nursing staff in future gives reason to look for solutions that can reduce the demand for nursing staff. Among older people who still look after themselves, we therefore examined which stressful postures they adopt when carrying out domestic tasks such as cooking and washing laundry. From the results, we provided some examples of a better design of the domestic environment, which reduces stressful postures, when performing these tasks and helps older people to be able to look after themselves in their own homes for longer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. 49 p.
Series
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2014.3
Keyword
nurses, musculoskeletal disorders, trunk posture, perceived exertion, ergonomics
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143534 (URN)978-91-7595-049-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-04-11, 3072, Marinens väg 30, Haninge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140324

Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2014-03-24 Last updated: 2014-03-25Bibliographically approved

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