2006 Ohio State University Ergonomics Study
Proves Merits of BackSaver Grip
A comprehensive ergonomics study for the Engineering Honors Program at Ohio State University concluded in 2006 that Stout’s BackSaver Grip® (retail $10) as well as the Backsaving Handle™ (retail $20) were effective in reducing lower back strain and injury resulting from the use of shovels and rakes.
Following is the (abstract) summary and conclusion:
Two handle attachments that are designed to decrease the bending and twisting encountered while shoveling and raking have become commercially available: Stout’s BackSaver Grip® and the Backsaving Handle™. This study aimed to investigate the effects that the two aids have on the lower back in these activities. Fourteen subjects performed raking and shoveling tasks. MotionMonitor™ (Innovative Sports Training, Inc.) hardware and software, and force-plates were employed to record the continuous motion of subjects performing these tasks. Lateral bending, flexion, and twisting angular displacements and movements were calculated for each subject. The effects of the aids were evaluated using SAS software (SAS Institute, Inc.). The study found that both handles significantly reduce twisting movement, twist angle, and flexion angle during the shoveling task. When using the handles during the raking task, only flexion was significantly reduced. In conclusion, the products present a possible way to decrease the risk factors associated with raking and shoveling.