The Impact of Stressful Postures on the Physical Workload in Nursing
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2014.3
nurses, musculoskeletal disorders, trunk posture, perceived exertion, ergonomics
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143534ISBN: 978-91-7595-049-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143534DiVA: diva2:707019
2014-04-11, 3072, Marinens väg 30, Haninge, 13:00 (English)
Seidler, Andreas, Professor
Larsson, Tore J., Professor
QC 201403242014-03-242014-03-242014-03-25Bibliographically approved
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