Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Hygiene

First Advisor

William Spath

Second Advisor

John Amtmann

Third Advisor

Theresa Stack

Fourth Advisor

Kay Eccleston


Professional ergonomists have several methods to analyze lifting tasks, in which the main goal is to determine the amount of strain on the body during manual material handling tasks. Several physical characteristics have been used to determine lifting capabilities, but developed screening methods do not cover the necessary traits or the right number of traits to predict an accurate level of strain. This project examined the use of the YMCA Fitness Test Assessment as a possible screening tool to determine lifting performance.

The project had one objective; To determine the association of any physical characteristic that might be used to predict performance during lifting tasks, with proper form, using the Military Standard 1472G (Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard, 2012).

Approved by the Institutional Review Board by Montana State University, students volunteered to participate in the study, signing several documents for screening and testing. Participants signed a consent form, physical activity questionnaire, and health questionnaire to determine their health status. After screening the volunteers participated in basic body measurements; including height, weight, blood pressure, and resting heart rate. The next step of the study was to perform the basic YMCA Fitness Assessment which included; body composition, maximum oxygen consumption, isometric leg strength, isometric leg endurance, and flexibility. The participants then performed a max lift and frequency lifts referencing the MLT-STD-1472

Results to satisfy the main objective indicated that heavier, short duration lifting tasks, a resting heart rate could predict the ability to lift heavier objects. The higher the resting heart rate, the less likely it is an individual can perform a lifting task safely. For lighter lifts occurring at a higher frequency for a brief period of time, it is most likely that better maximum oxygen consumption could predict the safety of individuals in lifting tasks. The results of the study are incomplete, and further investigations are required to validate the results. Any further progress on a similar study would require more data to further support the results of this study. The author suspects that more individuals, grip strength, and better participation from the participants the YMCA Fitness Assessment test could be used as an analytical tool for performance in manual material handling tasks.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Masters of Science in Industrial Hygiene