Quantifying Lumbar Movement Patterns of Allied Health Professionals in an Australian Health Care Facility

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Monash University
  • | 2 Peninsula Health
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Health professionals responsible for return to work plans have little data about allied health movement to guide recommendations following lower back injury. This study aimed to quantify the lumbar movement patterns of allied health professionals within a health care facility throughout a normal workday. An observational case study was undertaken at a public health care facility with 122 allied health professionals. The lumbar movements were recorded with the ViMove together with pain scale measurement. The mean (SD) recording time for allied health was 7.7 (0.7) hours. A mean (SD) 3 (1.4) hours total were spent in standing, 3.8 (1.7) hours in sitting, and 0.8 (0.4) hours in locomotion. Forty-nine flexions were recorded on average per session, most identified as short term (<30 s) within low range (0°–20°). Lumbar movement patterns differed among professions. Thirty-seven (31%) participants reported a history of lower back injury, and 57 (47%) reported low back pain at the end of their workday. This study provides an insight into allied health professionals’ back movement in a hospital or community-based health care setting. These data may inform those who make return to work recommendations or provide rehabilitation services for allied health professionals working with a lower back injury.

Vuillermin, Iles, and Williams are with the Department of Physiotherapy, Monash University, Peninsula Campus, Frankston, VIC, Australia. Bowles is with the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Peninsula Campus, Frankston, VIC, Australia. Williams is also with Allied Health, Peninsula Health, VIC, Australia.

Williams (cylie.williams@monash.edu) is corresponding author.
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