Back injuries affect a large portion of the American public. It is commonly noted that 80% of the US population will experience at least one episode back pain serious enough to seek medical attention in the course of their lives. Education in proper lifting techniques and body mechanics is often used as part of an overall program of prevention and treatment of back pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a back education program on performance and knowledge of third grade age children. Subjects attended a back education presentation on proper posture and lifting techniques. The subjects' knowledge of body mechanics was tested both by a written test and a practical test prior to the educational program, one day after the program, and four months later. Seventy nine subjects took the written pretest, post test and retention test. Twenty three of the original seventy nine subjects were videotaped lifting a milk crate on three separate occasions. The overall results of the written test, showed no significant difference in the children's intellectual knowledge of proper body mechanics between the pretest and retention test. The results of the practical test overall showed significant differences (p < .05) in lifting technique performance between the pretest and retention test.
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