Biomechanical Assessment of a Passive Back-support Exoskeleton During Repetitive Lifting and Carrying: Muscle Activity, Kinematics, and Physical Capacity

Chun Lung So, Chunzhuo Hua, Tingting Chen, Qingwen Gao, Siu Shing Man (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Most people have experienced low back pain (LBP) more or less in their lifetime. Heavier load weight could increase the risk of LBP, especially in repetitive lifting and carrying tasks. The risk could also increase with the frequency of lifting. This study aims to investigate the effects of a passive back-support exoskeleton (PBSE) on trunk muscle activation, kinematics and physical capacity in a repetitive lifting task and a carrying task in consideration of load weights in a laboratory setting. Results showed that using the PBSE, the activities of the thoracic erector spinae and lumbar erector spinae muscles were reduced significantly by nearly 7% MVC and 3% MVC in the repetitive lifting task and the carrying task, respectively. There was no significant effect of the PBSE on the spine kinematics and physical capacity. In conclusion, this study supports the use of the PBSE to reduce trunk muscle activity in repetitive lifting and carrying tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberJSR-D-21-00781
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Early online dateJul 2022
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 2022


  • Muscle activity
  • Kinematics
  • Physical capacity
  • Manual handling operation
  • Passive back-support exoskeleton

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