SUBJECTS: Sixteen undergraduate college students (8 male students, 8 female students) ranging in age from 18 to 22 years. Thirteen subjects were included in the final analysis.
SETTING: The Department of Psychology at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
METHODS: Using a well-established set of procedures developed in our laboratory for studying reaching, seated adult participants reached for and retrieved an object placed at various distances from them. Reach distances included values both closer than and farther than each subject's maximum seated reach. The reach task had 2 conditions: picking up and retrieving a small block and skewering and retrieving a small bead with a needle. For each task condition, each subject either wore the belt or did not use a belt.
RESULTS: Results indicate that when subjects wore the belt while reaching, they tended to have initial transition points (sitting to nonsitting) closer to their bodies than while not wearing the belt. That is, for a distant object, subjects were more likely to raise their bodies out of the chair rather than perform an extreme seated reach, possibly acting to preserve a greater margin of safety.
CONCLUSIONS: The back belt consistently modified reaching postures by limiting extreme ranges of motion during a task that required enhanced stability. Furthermore, the methodology and analysis presented in this article when applied to chiropractic will allow us to begin thoughtful investigation of the effects of chiropractic adjustments on postural transitions and margin of safety.
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