Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Doris Smith

Second Advisor

Shirley Lukens

Third Advisor

Cindee Peterson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A review of the literature suggests that the way in which an individual performs activities, or body mechanics, can affect the amount of stress placed on the low back. Several clinical programs treat patients with low back pain by teaching proper body mechanics. Although body mechanics obstacle course evaluations are used by occupational therapists to assess patients, there has been no published information regarding the reliability and validity of these evaluations. The purpose of this study was to establish the validity and reliability of one version, the Body Mechanics Obstacle Course (BMOC).

Content validity was established by reviewing the literature and consulting with experts. To determine reliability, eleven subjects scored a videotape of the BMOC on two separate occassions. The subjects' scoring during each of the two sessions achieved the 75% interrater reliability established for this study. However, the level of 75% or better agreement on test-retest reliability was not achieved.