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MEM 634


4.1 Strains associated with Load

Exerting force and energy in lifting objects with hand(s) strains
hands, arms , shoulders, trunk and legs(if standing).
Same parts also under stress in lowering ,pushing, pulling-diff
direction and magnitures of external and internal force and
torque vector.
Primary area of concern: low back(especially disc on lumbar
spine)-spinal vertabrae, connective tissue, muscles
Tension strains can be in form of: linear elongation, bending
movement or twisting torque
Loading:activities on external objects-lifting,holding etc
Strains:static or dynamic-fast or slow,short or long
period,regular or inregular interval
Sources of strain:sports,leisure, occupational activities

4.2 Assessing Body Capabilities

Related to Material Handling

Energy to move or keep objects from moving must be

generated within the body and exerted in terms of force to the
outside objects
Ability to lift material over hours is limited by metabolic and
circulatory capabilities
Ability top lift heavy objects just once or occasionally is
limited by generate large force capabilities.
Assessment of human abilities: psychophysical and
biomechanical method
Psychophysical measurements
Relies on assumption that human can sense and integrate
perception of strain on all body function and capabilities
Overall assessment of acceptability, suitability and
willingness to perform stressful task

Biomechanical measurements
Spinal compression
-calculation of compression strain is complicated because
human spine is not straight column and changes with different
trunk posture
- Thus, the strains in spinal column were treated as static.

Involvement of torso muscle

- study in activation of various muscle within the trunk in
-muscle that develop force vectors that run between inferior
and superior parts of the trunk are:right and left dorsi,right
and left erector spinae,right and left internal and external
obliques, right and left rectus abdominus
- use EMG to identify which muscle involved and sequence and
intensity of muscle to work.
- Depending on lifting task-height,distance from body, speed

Intraabdominal Pressure
- IAP changes with trunk loading and motion conditions.
- (Freivalds 1989) researchers estimated IAP will carry 15% of
strain and recommends for suitable lifting condition had
largely relied on observing devp of pressure build up
- (Marras and Mirka 1996;Kumar 97) states that IAP does not
reduce spinal compression loading

2D vs 3D activities
-initial research assumed that lifting would be done directly in
front of trunk (symmetrical) lift-2D task.
- but most of lifting involves activities to one or the other side
of body,requiring twisting motion about spinal joints
-it was apparent that human body perform less for
nonsymmetrical work
-supported by recording of 3D lumbar motions, evaluation of
EMG signals of torso muscles and models of distributed muscle

Unexpected loading
unexpected loading of body may lead to overexertion injury

Material handling other than lifting

- Most research in material handling has dealt with lifting and
lowering activities (force vector in operator hands is vertical)
- But many activities involves horizontal pulling and pushing of
a load.

4.3 Back Injury and Pain

Injury happens if limit of maximal strain of tissues are

May happen in a single strenuous effort, an accidental traumabut often repeated loadings add up to accumulative
Low back pain (LBP) indicator of overexertion of the body
Major difficulty in recognizing and analyzing back injury is that
it may happen without generating any pain because neither
the facet of the apophyseal nor the intervertebral discs have
pain sensitive nerves.
Actual reason of LBP are not clear. Some factors
contributes:degenerative disc disease, congenital
anomalies,spondylolisthesis, difference in leg length and
pevious injuries