The Energetics and Mechanics of Load Carrying
Final rept. 1 Feb 1988-31 Jan 1989
HARVARD COLL CAMBRIDGE MA PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS
Pagination or Media Count:
African women commonly carry prodigious loads 70 or more of their body weight supported by their heads for long distances. This method of load carriage is very economical in a comparison of the metabolic cost of carrying large head-supported loads by African women to large back-supported loads by American army recruits, it was found that the army recruits had to increase their metabolism twice as much as the women for the same load at the same walking speed. The mechanism by which these women carry loads so economically is unknown. The purpose of this study was to develop a quantitative understanding of how these women are able to carry head-supported loads so cheaply.
- Anatomy and Physiology