Manual materials handling capabilities in non-standard postures

James L. Smith, M. M. Ayoub, Joe W. McDaniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Research efforts to establish manual materials handling (MMH) capabilities of individuals and populations have been conducted for many years. Most of the previous efforts have explored ‘standard postures’, utilizing two-handed, symmetric, sagittal plane MMH using unrestricted postures. Recognizing that many industrial MMH activities do not utilize ‘standard postures’, recent research projects have explored psychophysicaly determined MMH capacities in a variety of non-standard postures. Among the non-standard postures examined were: twisting while lifting or lowering, lifting and lowering from lying, sitting, kneeling, and squatting positions, and carrying loads under conditions of constricted ceiling heights. This paper presents the results of a series of previous research efforts at Texas Tech University. The results are presented in the form of population capabilities of both males and females for 99 MMH tasks using ‘non-standard postures’. The data tables contain means and standard deviations of the data, as well as percentile distributions for the subject populations. Sample sizes for the experimental populations ranged from 45 to 50 subjects of each sex in the first three experiments to 20 subjects of each sex in the fourth set of experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-831
Number of pages25
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1992


  • Lifting capability percentile distributions
  • Manual materials handling
  • Nonstandard postures


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