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Physiological And Subjective Responses To Maximal Repetitive Lifting Employing Stoop And Squat Technique

K. Hagen, J. Hallén, K. Harms-Ringdahl
Published 2004 · Medicine

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SummaryTo establish safe levels for physical strain in occupational repetitive lifting, it is of interest to know the specific maximal working capacity. Power output, O2 consumption, heart rate and ventilation were measured in ten experienced forestry workers during maximal squat and stoop repetitive lifting. The two modes of repetitive lifting were also compared with maximal treadmill running. In addition, electromyogram (EMG) activity in four muscles was recorded and perceived central, local low-back and thigh exertion were assessed during the lifting modes. No significant difference was found in power output between the two lifting techniques. Despite this the mean O2 consumption was significantly greater during maximal squat lifting [38.7 (SD 5.8) ml·kg−1-·min−1] than maximal stoop lifting [32.9 (SD 5.7) ml·kg−1·min−1] (P<0.001). No significant correlation was found between O2 consumption (in millilitres per kilogram per minute) during maximal treadmill running and maximal stoop lifting, while O2 consumption during maximal squat lifting correlated highly with that of maximal treadmill running (r=0.928, P<0.001) and maximal stoop lifting (r=0.808, P<0.01). While maximal heart rates were significantly different among the three types of exercise, no such differences were found in the central rated perceived exertions. Perceived low-back exertion was rated significantly lower during squat lifting than during stoop lifting. The EMG recordings showed a higher activity for the vastus lateralis muscle and lower activity for the biceps femoris muscle during squat lifting than during stoop lifting. Related to the maximal voluntary contraction, the erector spinae muscle showed the highest activity irrespective of lifting technique.
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