Well­ness Arti­cles

Back Belts Worn at Work Not Effec­tive

The above was the con­clu­sion of a study pub­lished in the Decem­ber 6, 2000 issue of the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, (JAMA). The report in JAMA started off by not­ing that usage of these devices is becom­ing more com­mon. “Despite sci­en­tific uncer­tain­ties about effec­tive­ness, wear­ing back belts in the hopes of pre­vent­ing costly and dis­abling low back injury in employ­ees is becom­ing com­mon in the workplace.”

The study inter­viewed 9377 employ­ees from 160 stores. Of those stores in the study, 89 required back-​belt use and 71 had vol­un­tary belt use. The study would then track the inci­dence rate of material-​handling back injury work­ers com­pen­sa­tion claims as well as a 6-​month inci­dence rate of self-​reported low back pain among the workers.

The con­clu­sion of the study was clear. As explained by the JAMA arti­cle, “In the largest prospec­tive cohort study of back belt use, adjusted for mul­ti­ple indi­vid­ual risk fac­tors, nei­ther fre­quent back belt use nor a store pol­icy that required belt use was asso­ci­ated with reduced inci­dence of back injury claims or low back pain.” In sim­pler terms, these belts do not work to pre­vent the prob­lems for which they were designed.

Ran­dom Article

A story by John Dorschner of Knight Rid­der News Ser­vice and pub­lished in the Jan­u­ary 30, 2005 issue of the Miami Her­ald reported on the

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