Energy Cost of Walking in Four Types of Snowshoes.
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Energy cost was examined while four Marines walked at 4 kmhr on an open field with each of four snowshoes. Snowshoes were the Pride Assault, Montana, British Assault, and the U.S. Army Standard. The grade of the field was about 2.4 and the Marine walked once downhill and once uphill with each snowshoe. Expired respiratory gases were collected continuously during each walk. On the downhill portion of the course, average standard deviation SD V02 values were l.25 - 0.l3, 1.46 - 0.11, 1.31 - 0.13, and 1.22 - 0.20 1min for the Pride, Montana, British, and Standard snowshoes, respectively p0.01 the Pride and Standard snowshoes had significantly lower energy cost than the Montana p0.05. On the uphill portion of the course, average - SD VO2 values were 1.58 - 0.12, 1. 7 - 80.14, 1.62 - 0.21, and 1.5 - 10.06 1min for Pride, Montana, British, and Standard snowshoes, respectively p0.06. Data suggested that several characteristics may be favorable from an energy cost perspective 1 a foot hinge and binding system that allows the snowshoe to be dragged across the snow, 2 an upturned front that pushes snow away and allows a more horizontal displacement of the snowshoe during locomotion, and 3 a lower mass-to-surface-area ratio. Further research will be necessary to determine the relative importance ot these design characteristics, given the small number of subjects.
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