The hidden danger of static load in patient handling

More than half of residents in elderly and home care need substantial and daily assistance which can place a great deal of load on a caregivers body. It has often been assumed that dynamic load, such as manual  resident transfers and repositioning, are the sources of most of the caregiver injuries.1,2,3,4,5 

However, studies have indicated that static load — unnatural postures held over prolonged periods of time — may cause even more long-term damage to caregiver health than dynamic loads.6  


With 61% of residents in elderly and home care needing substantial and daily assistance with washing and/or showering,4 the impact of interventions aimed at reducing caregivers’ static load during hygiene routines can be profound. 

It is particularly important to select equipment that continuously encourages the patient or resident to maintain a greater degree of independence and mobility during the activities of daily living by using their residual physical function. This also needs to ensure caregiver safety without increasing ergonomic risks for either party.7 

At Arjo, we are dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by the challenges of reduced mobility, both patients and caregivers. 

Click here for more insights on Safe Patient Handling.



1. Jansen J, Morgenstern H, Burdorf A. Dose-response relations between occupational exposures to physical and psychosocial factors and the risk of low back pain. Occupational Environmental Medicine 2004;61(12):972-979 
2. Freitag S, Fincke-Junod I, Seddouki R et al. Frequent bending – an underestimated burden in nursing professions. Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2012; 56(6):697-707 
3. Freitag S, Seddouki R, Dulon M, Kersten JF, Larsson TJ, Nienhaus A. The effect of working position on trunk posture and exertion for routine nursing tasks: an experimental study. Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2014;58(3):317-325 
4. Knibbe JJ, Knibbe NE, Vijtde monitoring fysieke belasting in verpleeg – en verzorgingshuizen, thuiszorg en kraamzorg 2015 in opdracht van A+O WT (Fifth National Monitoring Physical Load in Nursing Homes, Home Care and Maternity Care 2015, Commissioned by A+O WT). The Hague, 2015 
5. Schall MC Jr, Fethke NB, Chen H. Working postures and physical activity among registered nurses. Applied Ergonomics 2016;54:243-250 
6. Jansen, JP, The impact of physical load on the course of low back pain, PhD Thesis, Rotterdam, Erasmus University, 2004. 
7. An evaluation of a ‘‘best practices’’ musculoskeletal injury prevention program in nursing homes, J W Collins et al., Injury Prevention 2004;10:206–211. doi: 10.1136/ip.2004.005595