This study investigated the effect of wearing a back belt on subjects' heart rate, oxygen consumption, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and respiratory frequency during asymmetric repetitive lifting. Thirty subjects with materials-handling experience utilized three different belts (ten subjects per belt). Subjects completed six 30-min lifting sessions-three while wearing a belt and three without. Data analyses were conducted on the second, third, and fourth lifting periods. A 9.4 kg box, without handles, was lifted 3 times/min, starting at 10 cm above the floor, ending at 79 cm, with a 60 degrees twist to the right. Data analysis indicates that belt-wearing did not have a significant effect on the overall mean values for heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and respiratory frequency. Belt-wearing had a significant effect on the overall mean oxygen consumption of the subjects.
Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA