The determinants of energy saving phenomena reported for load carried on the head, back and in a doublepack remain unclear. This study compared the energetic, kinematic and kinetic responses to head (H), back (B) and doublepack (DP) loading. Fifteen volunteers walked on an instrumented treadmill at 3 km.h-1 with 0, 3, 12 and 20 kg in each loading method. Whole body motion, ground reaction forces (GRF) and metabolic cost were measured. H was less economical than B (p = 0.014) and DP (p = 0.010). H was also associated with increased step length (p = 0.045), decreased cadence (p = 0.001), greater trunk (p < 0.001) and hip (p < 0.001) extension and greater minimum vertical GRF (p = 0.001) than B and DP. In conclusion, no energy saving was found for head- or back-loading but economy may be improved with methods that cause smaller perturbations from unloaded walking.
|Early online date||8 Apr 2021|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2021|
- Load carriage