Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Human Movement Science


The hospitality industry is a growth area that plays an important role in our tourist-dependent economy. However, working conditions disadvantage some staff. Hotel linenmaids, responsible for early morning room cleaning, tend to comprise poorly paid ethnic females from low socioeconomic groups that perform difficult manual work under demanding time contraints. The bedmaking task has been identified by many of these workers as a major factor contributing toward the causation of musculoskeletal injury, particularly to the low-back region. This is not surprising given the magnitude of the loads encountered in bedmaking and the "extreme" postures necessitated by the location and nature of these loads. Furthermore, it was feared that the trend toward the introduction of larger, heavier beds which are lower to the floor may have exacerbated this risk. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of lumbar stress associated with standard bed size and bed height combinations in order to determine guidelines for safer work practices in the hospitality industry.