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The effect of working position on trunk posture and exertion for routine nursing tasks: An Experimental Study
BGW–Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services.
UKE–University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf.
BGW–Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services.
UKE–University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf.
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2014 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 58, no 3, 317-325 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives:To examine the influence of the two following factors on the proportion of time that nurses spend in a forward-bending trunk posture: (i) the bed height during basic care activities at the bedside and (ii) the work method during basic care activities in the bathroom. A further aim was to examine the connection between the proportion of time spent in a forward-bending posture and the perceived exertion.Methods:Twelve nurses in a geriatric nursing home each performed a standardized care routine at the bedside and in the bathroom. The CUELA (German abbreviation for 'computer-Assisted recording and long-Term analysis of musculoskeletal loads') measuring system was used to record all trunk inclinations. Each participant conducted three tests with the bed at different heights (knee height, thigh height, and hip height) and in the bathroom, three tests were performed with different work methods (standing, kneeling, and sitting). After each test, participants rated their perceived exertion on the 15-point Borg scale (6 = no exertion at all and 20 = exhaustion).Results:If the bed was raised from knee to thigh level, the proportion of time spent in an upright position increased by 8.2% points. However, the effect was not significant (P = 0.193). Only when the bed was raised to hip height, there was a significant increase of 19.8% points (reference: thigh level; P = 0.003) and 28.0% points (reference: knee height; P < 0.001). Bathroom tests: compared with the standing work method, the kneeling and sitting work methods led to a significant increase in the proportion of time spent in an upright posture, by 19.4% points (P = 0.003) and 25.7% points (P < 0.001), respectively. The greater the proportion of time spent in an upright position, the lower the Borg rating (P < 0.001) awarded.Conclusions:The higher the proportion of time that nursing personnel work in an upright position, the less strenuous they perceive the work to be. Raising the bed to hip height and using a stool in the bathroom significantly increase the proportion of time that nursing personnel work in an upright position. Nursing staff can spend a considerably greater proportion of their time in an ergonomic posture if stools and height-Adjustable beds are provided in healthcare institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 58, no 3, 317-325 p.
Keyword [en]
bed height, bending, musculoskeletal disorders, nursing, perceived exertion, trunk posture
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143533DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/met071ISI: 000333046700005PubMedID: 24371043Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84896335490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143533DiVA: diva2:706993
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)
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Supervisors
Note

QC 20140324

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

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Larsson, Tore J.

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