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Low Back Pain—Behavior Correction by Providing Haptic Feedbacks: A Preliminary Investigation

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The activities performed by nurses in their daily activities involve frequent forward bending and awkward back postures. These movements contribute to the prevalence and development of low back pain (LBP). In previous studies, it has been shown that modifying their posture by education and training in proper lifting techniques decreases the prevalence of LBP. However, this education and training needs to be implemented daily. Hence, implementing the use of a wearable device to monitor the back posture with haptic feedback would be of importance to prevent LBP. This paper proposes a wearable device to monitor the back posture of the user and provide feedback when the participant is performing a possible hurtful movement. In this study, a group of participants was asked to wear the device while performing three of the most common activities performed by nurses. The study was divided into three sessions: In the first session, the participants performed the activities without feedback (baseline). During the second session, the participants received feedback from the wearable device (training) while performing the three tasks. Finally, for the third session, the participants performed the three tasks again, but the haptic feedback was turned off (validation). We found an improvement in the posture of more than 40% for the pitch (lateral bending) and roll (forward/backward bending) axes and 7% for the yaw (twisting) axis when comparing to the results from session 1 and session 2. The comparison between session 1 and session 3 showed an overall improvement of more than 50% for the pitch (lateral bending) and roll (forward/backward bending) axes and more than 20% for the yaw axis. These results hinted at the impact of the haptic feedback on the participants to correct their posture.
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