Human movement when walking or running is a widely researched area. However, there is an increased incidence of musculoskeletal injury from poor positioning when moving and handling patients amongst healthcare professionals and is one of the main causes of long term musculoskeletal health problems. In the clinical area, an individual’s musculoskeletal health system is subjected to mechanical loading, increasing the body’s stress and strain limits, and once these are exceeded injury occurs. The risk of pain and injury has a direct relation from the over use of poor posture from poor moving and handling, which in turn can cause loss of strength and reduce musculoskeletal function. This can be changed through healthcare workers adopting safe biomechanical body movements during patient handling tasks.
Nursing staff experience more low back pain than many other groups, the incidence varies among countries. Work activities involving bending, twisting, frequent heavy lifting, awkward static posture and psychological stress are regarded as causal factors for many back injuries. Preventive measures should be taken to reduce the risk of lower back pain, such as arranging proper rest periods, educational programmes to teach the proper use of body mechanics and lifestyle change programmes.