The energetic, kinematic and kinetic responses to load carried on the back, on the head and in a doublepack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Sean Hudson
  • Benedicte Vanwanseele
  • Martin Barwood
  • Chris Low
  • Carlton Cooke
  • Ray Lloyd
Original languageEnglish
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2021
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.

    Research areas

  • Load carriage, Economy, Kinetics, Kinematics

Related faculties, schools or groups

External organisations

  • University of Huddersfield
  • Catholic University of Leuven
  • Leeds Beckett University

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