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Work to rest durations ratios exceeding unity are a risk factor for low back disorder; a feline model.

Sbriccoli-P; Solomonow-M; Zhou-BH; Lu-Y
J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2007 Apr; 17(2):142-152
Low back disorders are prominent among the work force engaged in static anterior flexion during the workday. As a continuing part of a long-term research aimed to identify the biomechanical and physiological processes and corresponding risk factors leading to such cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), we ventured to assess the effect of rest and the work-to-rest duration ratios that may prevent CTD. Three groups of the feline model were subjected to three load/rest paradigms: two 30 min loading periods spaced by 10 min rest in Group I, two 30 min loading period spaced by 30 min rest in Group II and one 60 min loading period for Group III. The cumulative loading duration in the three groups was 60 min. Each of the groups were allowed 7h of rest while monitoring EMG and lumbar viscoelastic tissue creep each hour. The results demonstrate that for two 30 min load periods with a 30 min in between rest, an acute neuromuscular disorder was not present whereas for two 30 min loading with a 10 min rest it was. Similarly, for a 60 min loading with long-term rest, the disorder was present. Post hoc Fisher analysis demonstrated significant differences in the delayed hyperexcitability between the first and second group (P<0.0001) and the third and second (P<0.0001) group. Statistical difference in the displacement data of the three groups was not present. ANOVA showed a significant effect of time post-loading (P<0.0001 and different rest durations (P<0.0001) on the EMG data during the 7h recovery. The new data allow us to conclude that a work-to-rest duration ratio of 1:1 can prevent the development of CTD as long as the work periods are not too long (<60 min). Longer static flexion durations do not respond favorably to rest even if it is of equal or longer duration. It is suggested that appropriate durations of rest may be a viable tool to avert CTD in a certain range whereas long static flexion durations should be avoided at all cost.
Biomechanics; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Neuromuscular-system-disorders; Spinal-cord; Spinal-cord-disorders; Spinal-shock; Back-injuries; Electrical-stimulation; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Neurotransmitters; Central-nervous-system; Central-nervous-system-disorders; Animal-studies; Rest-periods
Musculoskeletal Disorders Research Laboratory, Bioengineering Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, RC-1 North Tower, Room 2103, 12800 East 19th Avenue, Denver, CO 80045
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-004079; Grant-Number-R01-OH-007622
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Low Back Disorders
Source Name
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Performing Organization
Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division