Ergonomic investigation of letter-carrier satchels: Part II. Biomechanical laboratory study

C. Joe Lin, Patrick G. Dempsey, James L. Smith, M. M. Ayoub, Tracey M. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A biomechanical investigation of four satchels designed for the purposes of manually carrying and delivering mail was conducted. Twenty United States Postal Service carriers participated in the study. The satchels differed primarily in the presence/absence of a waist belt, the number and design of the shoulder straps, and the number of pouches. The biomechanical analyses were comprised of postural (shoulder and hip) deviation measurements, estimated compressive forces at the L5/S1 joint, soft tissue pressure on the shoulder, spinal torsion during mail retrieval, force distribution between the feet, and an anthropometric evaluation. The results indicated that a satchel with two shoulder straps and two pouches was more desirable than the single-pouch satchels from a biomechanics standpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Biomechanics
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Satchel design


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