Lift performance and lumbar loading in standing and seated lifts



Publication Details

Middleton, K. J., Carstairs, G. L. & Ham, D. J. (2016). Lift performance and lumbar loading in standing and seated lifts. Ergonomics: an international journal of research and practice in human factors and ergonomics, 59 (9), 1242-1250.


This study investigated the effect of posture on lifting performance. Twenty-three male soldiers lifted a loaded box onto a platform in standing and seated postures to determine their maximum lift capacity and maximum acceptable lift. Lift performance, trunk kinematics, lumbar loads, anthropometric and strength data were recorded. There was a significant main effect for lift effort but not for posture or the interaction. Effect sizes showed that lumbar compression forces did not differ between postures at lift initiation (Standing 5566.2 ± 627.8 N; Seated 5584.0 ± 16.0) but were higher in the standing posture (4045.7 ± 408.3 N) when compared with the seated posture (3655.8 ± 225.7 N) at lift completion. Anterior shear forces were higher in the standing posture at both lift initiation (Standing 519.4 ± 104.4 N; Seated 224.2 ± 9.4 N) and completion (Standing 183.3 ± 62.5 N; Seated 71.0 ± 24.2 N) and may have been a result of increased trunk flexion and a larger horizontal distance of the mass from the L5-S1 joint.

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