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Cumulative postural exposure measured by a novel device: a preliminary study

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The aim of the present study was to examine the within-day reliability of the Spineangel® postural monitoring device and to measure cumulative lumbo-pelvic posture exposure of health care workers. Twenty-one workers from an aged-care residential home wore the Spineangel, attached to the belt or waistband of their normal work apparel, during a period of the work shift. To assess the within-day reliability of measurements, 11 workers performed two sets of three lumbo-pelvic forward flexion, sustaining them for five 5 s each, at the beginning and at the end of the work shift. Different thresholds for cumulative postural exposure were measured. The reliability was found to be excellent (ICC = 0.81). On average, a threshold of 30° of lumbo-pelvic forward flexion was exceeded 1069 times/h (SD 2157.1); at 45°, 121 times/h (SD 223.8); and at 60°, 8 times/h (SD 21.8). The use of Spineangel isthus likely to be a useful device for monitoring work posture.

Statement of Relevance: The Spineangel® is capable of providing reliable postural measurements in the workplace. Different cumulative postural exposure thresholds were established considering three domains of cumulative exposure: magnitude (range of motion), frequency and duration. The implementation of such domains for cumulative exposure allowed us to explore interesting forms of monitoring posture exposure.
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Keywords: low back pain; posture; posture monitoring; reliability; trunk posture analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Physiotherapy,University of Otago, 9015Dunedin, New Zealand 2: Dunedin School of Medicine,University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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