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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 2, Pages 131-142

Impact of a Chest Support on Lower Back Muscles Activity During Forward Bending

Armaĝan Albayrak,1,2 Richard H. M. Goossens,1 Chris J. Snijders,1,3 Huib de Ridder,1 and Geert Kazemier2

1Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, Netherlands
2Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Centre of Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, Netherlands
3Department ofBiomedical Physics and Technology, Erasmus Medical Centre of Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GE Rotterdam, Netherlands

Received 9 December 2009

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study is based on previous research on the poor body posture of surgeons and their experienced discomfort during surgical procedures. Since surgeons have head-bent and back-bent posture during open surgical procedures, a chest support is a viable supporting principle. This support is meant to reduce lower back pain by minimising lower back muscle activity. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of a chest support on lower back muscle activity during forward bending and to establish a possible relation between supporting force and the kind of balancing strategy a person adopts. Use of the chest support shows a significant reduction of muscle activity in the lower back and leg muscles. Within the participants three user groups are identified as “sceptical users”, “non-trusters” and “fully trusters”, each following a different balancing strategy. Since there are different kinds of users, the designed body support should offer the possibility for altering the posture and should not constrain the user to take a certain body posture.