Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hwang, Jaejin

Second Advisor

Chen, Gary

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


Professional caregivers and nurses are prone to a greater risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which is primarily related to manual patient handling. In common various transfer devices are used to transfer patients, the efficacy of friction-reducing devices in reducing biomechanical stress in the low back and upper extremities has not been systematically evaluated. Twenty professional caregivers performed standardized lateral pulling, pushing and sliding up tasks with selected transfer devices (draw sheet, slide sheet, slide board, and air-assisted transfer device). Caregivers’ hand-pull force, shoulder, and trunk posture, shoulder moment, muscle activity in wrist flexor, wrist extensor, biceps, triceps, trapezius, and erector spinae, and patient’s head acceleration were collected during the study. Air-assisted transfer device was most effective in reducing biomechanical exposures among caregivers and patients compared to the conventional draw sheet. The slide sheet did not significantly reduce the biomechanical stresses in caregivers’ upper extremities and low back compared to the conventional draw sheet. Given lower patients’ head accelerations, friction-reducing devices (slide sheet, slide board, and air-assisted device) could be effective in improving patient safety and comfort.


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type