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The study was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health from April 1996 to April 1998 on 9,377 material handling employees of Wal-Mart, Inc., using only the common elastic-style “girdle” belts. It proved that the girdle-type back belts simply did not work. No reduction in pain or injury. Why? Because there was no change in spinal mechanics, the cause of 90% of back pain and injury.
The “curved and firm” pad (Back-A-Line’s patent) provides a proprioceptive and apparent pain blocking feature. A smoothly contoured firm surface therefore appears to be a desirable feature of a back brace.
Most studies have shown that poor posture is the root cause of most back problems. Lifting only exacerbates an already –dangerous- situation. Back pain or fatigue at the end of the day is generally indicative of poor posture during the day. Correcting posture will minimize the risk while minimizing or reducing pain.
The Back-A-Line belt provided the most striking difference in posture where a movement required stability of the torso, because of some level of the fine motor skills needed at the end of the reach. As an example, for a mechanic to place a wrench on a bolt requires stability of the torso as his arm is reaching out, or he’ll miss the bolt. So too do the majority of movements in typical jobs. Skilled workers in construction jobs, assembly line workers, as well as mechanics, rarely lift, but require stability of the torso to accomplish their job functions ALL day.