No announcement yet.

Re: When lifting a low-lying load is it better to look straightforwards or tuck your chin in?

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: When lifting a low-lying load is it better to look straightforwards or tuck your chin in?


    Although this may be a speculation but in a discussion with a colleague I
    understand that the spinal cord and all of the nerves (in particular) the
    major nerves such as the sciatic nerve can be thought of as a rope that is
    subject to a tensile stress when we bend down for example. Whilst the head
    pivots over the neck if it is moved forward it can result in additional
    stress of the spinal cord (which would already be under tension due to the
    bending posture adopted). This can be through further stretching of the
    cord itself as well as generating more of a curvature at the cervical
    segment of the spine thereby increasing the tension on the cord. Therefore
    I suppose looking forward or even looking up (causing the head to move
    back) can reduce the tension or at least avoid any additional burden on the
    cord and the nerves.

    Food for thought I think


    Dr. H Rassoulian MIPEM, CSci, CEng, FIMechE, CS
    Head of Clinical Bioengineering
    Dept. Medical Physics & Bioengineering
    Southampton General Hospital
    Tremona Rd.
    Southampton SO16 6YD

    Tel: +44 (0)23 80 79 69 45
    Fax: +44 (0)23 80 79 41 17
    Alternative Email:

    PLEASE DO NOT PRINT UNLESS ON Recycled unbleached paper

    Quoting "McFarlane, David" :

    > In May 2005 I initiated a discussion on the Ergoweb list server
    > concerning whether training in lifting techniques be made more
    > effective. On 23 Oct 2005 Mike Papakyriakou of York University asked
    > whether it is really helpful to "look forward" when you lift to help
    > keep the spine "neutral"; is that a meaningful or useful concept?
    > He referred to some lifting instructions he had seen (such as those
    > issued by the U.S. Army Center For Health Promotion And Preventive
    > Medicine) that advised you to "look forward" when you lift whereas
    > others advised you to tuck your chin in. Nobody replied (or at least not
    > publicly).
    > I seem to remember that Sedgewick and Gormley (1998) used to say
    > something similar but that was probably due to the fact that it helped
    > weightlifters to do well (i.e. probably it was to stop their chins from
    > hitting the bar). However, I do not recollect the details.
    > So the question remains; when lifting a low-lying load is it better to
    > look forward or tuck your chin in? Or doesn't it really matter?
    > Regards,
    > David McFarlane
    > Ergonomist, WorkCover Authority
    > New South Wales, Australia
    > Reference
    > A. Sedgwick and J. Gormley, (1998), "Training for lifting; an unresolved
    > ergonomic issue?", Appl Ergon. 29, (5): 395-8.
    > Disclaimer
    > Any recommendation concerning the use or representation of a particular
    > brand of product in this document or any mention of them whatsoever
    > (whether this appears in the text, illustrations, photographs or in any
    > other form) is not to be taken to imply that WorkCover NSW approves or
    > endorses the product or the brand.
    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************
    > This message, including any attached files, is intended solely for the
    > addressee named and may contain confidential
    > information. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it and
    > notify the sender. Any views expressed in this
    > message are those of the individual sender and are not necessarily the
    > views of WorkCover NSW.
    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------
    > Information about BIOMCH-L:
    > Archives:
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------