Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(2): 115-122.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.16
PMID: 31249798
PMCID: PMC6588809
Scopus ID: 85066876124
  Abstract View: 888
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Original Article

The new “Tehran Back Belt”: Design then testing during a simulated sitting task improved biomechanical spine muscle activity

Hamidreza Mokhtarinia 1* ORCID logo, Javad Ghamary 1 ORCID logo, Azam Maleki-Ghahfarokhi 2 ORCID logo, Morteza Asgari 3, Charles Philip Gabel 4 ORCID logo, Mohamad Parnianpour 5 ORCID logo

1 Department of Ergonomics, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3 Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
4 Independent Researcher, Coolum Beach, Qld, Australia
5 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Background: Spinal load and muscle activity in occupation settings is an area of increasing concern. Regarding technological advancements, in diverse occupations the spinal loads have increased through constrained seated postures. Back belts are consequently used in prophylactic and conservative management of occupational low back pain (LBP) in two distinct settings, prevention in industry, and treatment in LBP management. Industrial sites utilize belts for LBPprophylaxis on a large scale with their design and user experience (UE) influencing both the effectiveness and the workers’ compliance. This pilot study aims at determining the effectiveness of the new Tehran Back Belt (TBB) and assesses both UE and biomechanical effect (BE) on paraspinal muscle activity in healthy subjects. Methods: A pretest-posttest study. Stage-1, design and fabrication of the TBB. Stage-2, the UE of the designed belt evaluated in healthy volunteers (n=30) via a checklist. The BE was determined from the level of lumbar extensor and trunk flexor muscle activity gauged during two test conditions of sitting posture (with and without belt) over 35-minute periods. Results: Most subjects (>90%) reported high ‘ease of use’ and ‘comfort’ while wearing the TBB.The BE statistical analysis showed significantly reduced EMG activity levels for the longissimus(P = 0.012, η2=0.24), rectus abdominis (P=0.024, η2=0.18) and internal oblique (P=0.001,η2=0.44) muscles in belt-use conditions. Conclusion: Decreased muscle activity while using the TBB is potentially advantageous for workers as spinal muscle activity is significantly reduced. Further investigations for longer duration effects and during real work office-based activities are warranted.
Keywords: Back belt, Para-spinal muscle activity, Sitting posture, User experience
Citation: Mokhtarinia H, Ghamary J, Maleki-Ghahfarokhi A, Asgari M, Gabel CP, Parnianpour M. The new “Tehran Back Belt”: Design then testing during a simulated sitting task improved biomechanical spine muscle activity. Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(2):115-122. doi:10.15171/hpp.2019.16.
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Submitted: 08 Oct 2018
Revision: 05 Mar 2019
Accepted: 07 Mar 2019
ePublished: 25 May 2019
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