The effect of working position on trunk posture and exertion for routine nursing tasks: An Experimental Study
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
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.
bed height, bending, musculoskeletal disorders, nursing, perceived exertion, trunk posture
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143533DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/met071ISI: 000333046700005PubMedID: 24371043ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84896335490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143533DiVA: diva2:706993
QC 201403242014-03-242014-03-242014-04-23Bibliographically approved