Effect of Varying Loads on the Spine: An Ergonomic Approach

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue XI, November 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Effect of Varying Loads on the Spine: An Ergonomic Approach

D.O. Isiohia

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imo State University, Owerri,Nigeria

 

Abstract: This paper attempts to compare the effects of load on the spine when subjected to varying load conditions. Change in total body height was used as an indirect measure of disc compression with the help of the apparatus called stadiometer. Fifteen male subjects were measured under different load situations classified as light, medium and heavy loads. During the three conditions, measurements of changes in height were taken in the morning before work and in the evening before resting. Comparisons were made using a repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with a significant level set at (0.05). The result showed that duration of dynamic activities has significant effect on the disc compression for the light and heavy load (P<0.05) with no significant difference between the medium load and the mean shrinkage. Results also showed greater compression in younger people compared with older and greater compression is experienced during longer durations of dynamic activities. Finally, examples were given on how the findings of this research can be used in ergonomic evaluation, design, and intervention in a workplace.
Index Terms: Ergonomics, Stadiometer, Load, Spinal Compression
I. INTRODUCTION
The prevalence and cost of occupational back injuries continues to increase despite the efforts of researchers to attempt to find new preventive methods of interventions to reduce the rate of injuries. Loads places repetitive stress on the lower limbs and lower back. Compressive load is inevitable as the body is supported with the feet which impact with the understanding of the effects of load on the spine yet the prevalence and cost of occupational back injuries continues to increase. It is against this background that this research was conducted with the view to finding new preventive methods of intervention to reduce the incidence of back injuries by comparing three different conditions classified as (light, medium, and heavy loads).