Effects of Weight Carried by Soldiers: Combined Analysis of Four Studies on Maximal Performance, Physiology, and Biomechanics
Final rept. 1 May 2000-1 Sep 2001
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER CENTER MA SUPPORTING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE
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Data from four studies of standard and prototype load-carriage equipment were analyzed to determine the effects of the weight borne by male and female load carriers on time to traverse a 3.2-km course at maximal speed and on energy expenditure and kinetic and kinematic variables during externally paced walking at 4.8 km-1 hr. The equipment configurations included fighting, approach, and sustainment loads, with masses varying from 12 kg to 50 kg. It was found that course completion times and energy expenditure were directly related to the weight carried. Kinetic variables, including ground and joint reaction forces, generally evidenced substantial linear relationships with the weight carried. Increases in maximum ankle, knee and hip joint reaction forces approached 1 N for each 1 N increase in the weight. The effects of weight carried on the kinematic variables were more complex. They included evidence of adaptations in walking gait that are likely to aid the load carrier in maintaining stability and in absorbing the increased forces associated with increased load on the body.
- Stress Physiology