Influence of Load on Three-Dimensional Segmental Trunk Kinematics in One-Handed Lifting: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University of Potsdam
  • | 2 Bern University of Applied Science, Health & Physiotherapy
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Stability of the trunk is relevant in determining trunk response to different loading in everyday tasks initiated by the limbs. Descriptions of the trunk’s mechanical movement patterns in response to different loads while lifting objects are still under debate. Hence, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of weight on 3-dimensional segmental motion of the trunk during 1-handed lifting. Ten asymptomatic subjects were included (29 ± 3 y; 1.79 ± 0.09 m; 75 ± 14 kg). Subjects lifted 3× a light and heavy load from the ground up onto a table. Three-dimensional segmental trunk motion was measured (12 markers; 3 segments: upper thoracic area [UTA], lower thoracic area [LTA], lumbar area [LA]). Outcomes were total motion amplitudes (ROM;[°]) for anterior flexion, lateral flexion, and rotation of each segment. The highest ROM was observed in the LTA segment (anterior flexion), and the smallest ROM in the UTA segment (lateral flexion). ROM differed for all planes between the 3 segments for both tasks (P < .001). There were no differences in ROM between light and heavy loads (P > .05). No interaction effects (load × segment) were observed, as ROM did not reveal differences between loading tasks. Regardless of weight, the 3 segments did reflect differences, supporting the relevance of multisegmental analysis.

J. Müller, S. Müller, Stoll, Rector, and Mayer are with the University Outpatient Clinic, Sports Medicine & Sports Orthopaedics, University of Potsdam, Germany. Baur is with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Health & Physiotherapy, Bern, Switzerland.

Address author correspondence to Juliane Müller at