Backpack Vacuums and Ergonomics – Correct Fit and Vacuuming Technique are essential.

Posted by | June 16, 2017 | Events | No Comments

When it comes to cleaning, time is everything. The quicker the cleaning technician can clean; the more profit there is to be made. If you are not already familiar with backpack vacuums and how efficient they are when compared to the more traditional type vacuums, I would suggest that you take the time to research and become familiar with the pros and cons of backpack vacuums. Not only can backpack vacuums increase you cleaning production rates but they can also reduce the negative effects that repetitive vacuuming can have on your body.

Reduce Back Pain By Utilizing Back Pack Vacuums Instead of Uprights

Added Advantages of the Backpack Vacuum

The research paper titled Biomechanical Assessment of an Upright Vacuum Cleaner and Back Pack Vacuum Cleaner (Department of Surgery Division of Orthopedics, Ohio State University, and Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH) presents data comparing the stresses and fatigue of custodial managers using upright and backpack vacuum cleaners; “The biomechanical assessment concluded that the use of backpack vacuum cleaners resulted in less body stress, fatigue and repetition. Specifically, the lower body motions associated with the use of a backpack vacuum were within the limits of average walking, whereas the lower body motions associated with the use of upright vacuum cleaners were more “unnatural” and therefore more stressful on the body. Also, upper body movements were less stressful since the hand to floor distance was longer with the backpack vacuum cleaner than with the upright. This resulted in an increase in the speed in which an area was vacuumed.”

Back Packs: Fit and Technique

Before investing in backpack vacuums – do your own investigation and take into account some of the following when deciding whether or not a backpack vacuum is right for you by making sure that you have sound reasoning behind your purchase.

Backpack vacuums are an ideal way to make vacuuming easier than ever thought possible. Instead of excessive bending, as is the case with a regular vacuum unit, back packs are ergonomically designed and “made to fit” in order to provide maximum comfort. This is achieved through improved harness designs, which are used for distributing weight and maintaining balance properly.

For instance, the backpack vacuums are equipped with shoulder straps and a waist belt that is padded. When you first put on the backpack vacuum, it is imperative that you adjust the belt, so that it fits secure and snug around your hips. If done correctly, the straps should easily slip around the shoulders, and should be loose. The main force of weight will then be distributed from the machine, off of the back and shoulders, and applied to the hips.

Another excellent feature of the backpack vacuum is the back plate, which is a panel that provides ventilation and is the piece of the unit that rests directly on the back. It is also the support piece for the vacuum. The back plate should be adjustable; take the time to lower or raise it in regards to the users’ height, to ensure the ultimate in flexibility and freedom to move around conveniently.

The Back Pack Vacuum and Ergonomics

In order to get the most out of the ergonomic backpack vacuum, users need to know how to use them properly, in order to provide the muscles, tendons and ligaments with the proper support and security they need. Backpack users should never have to bend their back for any reason, and the upper torso should be kept erect with very little twisting or sudden sharp movements while operating the vacuum.

By reducing bending and excessive, vigorous movements, backpack users can keep their endurance and stamina levels up, meaning, more energy and productivity while on the job. When it comes time for bending, remember to bend with your knees and use the support of your legs, not your back.

Another fantastic way to make the vacuuming experience less demanding on your back, is to frequently empty the backpack of the dust and debris. By doing so, the backpack vacuum will remain lighter, which makes a big difference compared to lugging around extra weight that isn’t necessary to carry.

As an extra bonus, some backpack vacuum can be purchased with a storage station. The vacuum storage station can be installed on a vertical surface, such as a wall, which helps the user take off and put on the backpack vacuum with ease, without ever having to bend down to pick it up, which can cause undue back strain.

Remember the phrase; “work smarter, not harder?” Whether you already use backpacks or are considering the switch, make sure to train all your cleaning staff to properly fit the backpack to them and to use correct vacuuming techniques in order to optimize the backpacks many benefits.

From my experience, ProTeam are one of the leaders in the backpack equipment sector and both The Cleaning House and G.T French carry the ProTeam line of equipment along with some locations of Swish Maintenance.