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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Nancy Cicirello, MPH, PT

Second Advisor

Jay Salzman, BS, PT


Studies have consistently shown that a high percentage of low

back injuries are due to cumulative trauma, and more specifically

to improper techniques of lifting. It is important to focus on

the way children lift objects because early instruction may be

vital in. minimizing damage to the back over a lifetime. In this

study, 108 children, aged two through nine years were videotaped

while lifting a series of weighted boxes. The purpose was to

describe lifting patterns in children and to determine whether

the observed patterns represent developmental stages. There was

a potential for each child to earn a maximum of forty points:

actual scores ranged from seven to thirty~eight. Only 8% used a

straight back while lifting. Sixty-one percent of the two and

three year aIds and 20% of the other children had knee flexion of

90 degrees or more. This study provides support for the presence

of developmental stages of lifting in children. Ideas for future

research in lifting patterns and training programs are discussed.


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