n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Current trends in research focused on pushing and pulling : research article

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



The purpose of this review paper is to provide a synopsis of the findings of papers on pushing and pulling; and to identify areas of contention which require further in depth analysis. It is evident from reviewing the published papers on pushing and pulling that there is a lack of consensus as to which one of these two actions has the greatest force production. The main problem is probably the lack of standardized methodology in push-pull research. Furthermore, even when similar methodologies have been used the description of postures adopted during testing by the subjects varies greatly from paper to paper. The various studies have employed different postures and also imposed different restrictions on the postures adopted during experimentation, making comparisons between findings difficult. Much emphasis has been placed on the evaluation of static pushing and pulling tasks, and there is a clear need for further research into dynamic pushing and pulling. Additionally to date the focus of much of this research has been on the biomechanical stresses placed on the body with little attention being given to the physiological cost of pushing and pulling.

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