Iturri Laevo Exoskeleton
The Iturri Laevo Exoskeleton reduces by half the activity of the back muscles, resulting in less pressure on vertebrae. This decreases the risk of back injuries and therefore, the medical leaves.
What are Exoskeletons?
An exoskeleton is a wearable and portable device which generates extra energy to help in physical tasks.
The use of exoskeletons to prevent lumbar illnesses is foreseen when other preventive actions are not feasible or effective. They are also recommended when the automation is not possible or when the tasks are variable.
The Laevo was originally designed to help caretakers in hospitals, helping patients in and around their beds. Currently the Laevo is widely used in Automotive, Warehousing, Logistics, Aviation and Heavy Industry by people who work in a forward bended posture.
Laevo can improve workplace health and workplace productivity of an individual and the collective of individuals by providing exoskeleton support devices.
How does it work?
The easiest way to explain it is; imagine crossing the finish line after a long run, you’ll probably be tired, gasping for air and stand bended forward with your hands on your upper legs. In this position, you divert the muscle activity of the erector spine, placed next to your spine, through your arm to your upper legs.
The Laevo does the same. It provides support when the worker leans forward on the chest part of the exoskeleton. This force is diverted through the system on to the upper legs.
This force equals the support the system gives the worker. It results in up to 50% less muscle activity of the great muscles in the back, which leads to less pressure on the vertebrae, resulting in less chance on back injuries and less absence due to back injuries. (THIS FACT IS SUPPORTED BY TEST CARRIED BY THE PRESTIGIOUS LABORATORY TNO )
This system has no need for batteries: the Laevo is hundred percent mechanical, therefore, it is easy to be used by the worker in every work environment.
An exoskeleton as a support for the back
Laevo is a unique exoskeleton, a portable support for the back which helps users while working in bended postures or when lifting objects. It supports part of the user’s weight, reducing the tension in the back.
What makes Laevo unique is its flexible structure. This provides a support at the same time that the user is able to walk and move the body.
Appart from this physical effect, Laevo improves the user’s consciousness with their posture. In combination with the “intelligent hinge” the user is able to completely bend and touch their feet.
It is the combination of the reduction of the physical tension with a greater mental consciousness, which provide a comfort improvement for the user.
Who is using the Laevo Exoesqueleton?
Some examples are: order pickers in warehouses and logistic companies like Geodis or Schneider Electric, workers at production lines in the automotive industry for example BMW ; AUDI, Ford …, engineers in the aviation sector, baggage handlers at airports. Almost everywhere where workers have to work in a forward bended position or where workers have to do a lot of lowering and lifting of material.
Lumbago. Description of the problem
Back problems are the principal physical cause of work absenteeism. Working in a bent position is unavoidable in many jobs, for example, during the care of patients or in logistic warehouses during the order preparation.
A regular exposure to these positions increases the risks of backaches, what considerably reduces people’s comfort at work. Unfortunately medical leaves because of back injuries are very common.
Backache problems information
Lumbago as an illness, according to its incidence and prevalence, does not differs between developed and developing countries. We can find major differences in absenteeism and in the resulting incapacity which are “epidemics” in very developed countries.
- Pain does not relate to economy.
- But incapacity does, as it becomes greater with the economical level of the country.
The 5th European Working Conditions Survey revealed that 30 % of the European workers suffer from chronic back pain, occupying the first place on the list of inconveniences associated with work. Every year, 50% of the working population suffer lumbar pain; its incidence for the general population is 15-20%, therefore, working damage more our backs.
A preventive action is, in tasks of intense lumbar overloading, a basic instruction for weight handling and forced postures. For continuous sitting tasks workers shall keep ergonomic postures at the workplaces.
Some studies reveal that lumbar pain appears when handling weights of more than 50 kg with the spine bended more than 30º or when pushing a load of more than 75 kg.