UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Wearable Technology to Increase Self-Awareness of Low Back Pain: A Survey of Technology Needs among Health Care Workers Ferrone, Andrea; Napier, Christopher; Menon, Carlo


Low back pain (LBP) is a leading contributor to musculoskeletal injury worldwide and carries a high economic cost. The healthcare industry is the most burdened, with nurses, in particular, being highly prone to LBP. Wearable technologies have the potential to address the challenges of monitoring postures that contribute to LBP and increase self-awareness of workplace postures and movements. We aimed to gain insight into workers’ perceptions of LBP and whether they would consider using wearable monitoring technologies to reduce injury risks. We conducted a cross-sectional survey to gather information from a selected population of nurses. Sixty-four participants completed the survey, and data were analyzed with the support of Machine Learning techniques. Findings from this study indicate that the surveyed population (64 nurses) is interested in these new approaches to monitor movement and posture in the workplace. This technology can potentially change the way ergonomic guidelines are implemented in this population.

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