Preventing Back Injury Among Nurses

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Back injury and subsequent back pain are highly prevalent in nursing. This article explores multidimensional factors with respect to working behaviors, physical fitness, and environments that contribute to both acute and cumulative back injuries to nursing staff. Specific interventions to reduce the risk for back injury are examined. The practice of proper posture, body mechanics, and lifting techniques are reviewed. Exercises to increase flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance are encouraged to reduce the gap between job physical demands and human capabilities. Nurses are also encouraged to be knowledgeable about ergonomic principles and to be active in identifying and using these principles. Research needs and approaches to the study of the back injury problem of nurses are also suggested.

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