Electric versus hydraulic hospital beds: Differences in use during basic nursing tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biomechanical, postural and ergonomic aspects during real patient-assisting tasks performed by nurses using an electric versus a hydraulic hospital bed were observed. While there were no differences in the flexed postures the nurses adopted, longer performance times were recorded when electric beds were used. Subjective effort, force exertion and lumbar shear forces exceeding safety limits proved electric beds were superior. Patients' dependency level seemed to influence the type of nurses' intervention (duration and force actions), irrespective of the bed used. The nurses greatly appreciated the electric bed. Its use seemed to reduce the level of effort perceived during care giving and the postural load during critical subtasks. Ergonomics and organizational problems related to adopting electric beds in hospital wards should be addressed further to make their use more efficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-606
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Biomechanical load
  • Electric hospital bed
  • Nursing tasks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research


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