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Back Belts Used On the Job Not Effective

The above was the conclusion of a study published in the December 6, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA). The article in JAMA started out by noting that use of these products has become more common. "Despite scientific uncertainties about effectiveness, wearing back belts in the hopes of preventing costly and disabling low back injury in employees is becoming common in the workplace."

The study interviewed 9377 employees from 160 stores. Of those stores in the study, 89 required back-belt use and 71 had voluntary belt use. The study then tracked the incidence rate of material-handling back injury workers compensation claims as well as a 6-month incidence rate of self-reported lower back pain among the employees.

The conclusion of the study was apparent. As explained by the JAMA article, " In simple terms, these devices don't work to prevent the problems in which they were designed.

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