A dynamic testing technique, called LIFTEST, was developed for testing a person's lifting capability, and which could be used in place of static strength testing in studies dealing with back injuries occurring on the job as a result of poor lifting practices. A "press station", purchased from a gymnasium equipment company, was modified in order to assess the feasibility of the isoinertial technique. The equipment was tested using 39 volunteers. An experimental procedure was designed to measure individual maximum LIFTEST capabilities for both overhead reach and knuckle height; assess isometric arm, leg, torso, and shoulder strengths; determine the maximum weight that subjects would be willing to lift once per minute over an 8 hour shift; and measure their dynamic endurance. In the overhead reach height test the average weight lifted by the females (14 subjects) was 36 pounds (lb), while that of those males (19 out of 25 subjects) who did not exceed the 100lb cutoff load was 76lb. The coefficients of variation were 3.2 (males) and 3.9 (females) percent. The 170lb cutoff load was exceeded by 17 of the male subjects in the knuckle height test, and the average weight lifted by the remaining males was 137lb while that for the female subjects was 108lb. The average coefficients of variation for this test were 5.2 (males) and 7.8 (females) percent. Average isometric forces in the static strength tests were: arm, 54lb; leg, 143lb; and torso, 132lb. Females were on average 50 percent weaker than males in these tests, and the coefficients of variation were between 11.6 and 15.4 percent. The authors conclude that the reliability of the overhead LIFTEST data is considerably better than that for static muscle strength tests.
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