# Restoring force (negative or positive)

## Homework Statement

First, I'll give a problem in context..
In anticipation of her first game, Alesia pulls back the handle of a pinball machine a distance of 5cm. The force constant of the spring in the handle is 200N/m. How much force must Alesia exert?
Convert 5cm to 0.05m.
F=kx..
k=200N/m
x=0.05m
200N*0.05m/m=10N

But why is it positive..
I have a definition for restoring force as
"Whenever a spring is stretched from its equilibrium position and released, it will move back and forth on either side of the equilibrium position. The force that pulls it back and attempts to restore the spring to equilibrium is called the restoring force."
"The force that acts to move the spring away from the equilibrium position is equal in magnitude to the restoring force, but opposite in direction."

So.. In Alesia's pinball machine.. the spring is in equilibrium? The force that Alesia exerts makes the spring not equilibrium.. So shouldn't the force be negative? I realized that the force exerted after she releases is going to be the same magnitude..

And that's just the context problem..
Gary Stewart of Reading, Ohio set a pogo stick record in 1990 by jumping 177737 times(irrelevant??). a)If pogo stick he used had a force constant(k) of 6000N/m and compressed 0.12m on each jump, what force must Gary have exerted on the pogo stick upon each jump?
b)What force would be exerted back up on Gary each time he went up?