Background Document for an Advanced Personal Load Carriage System for the Canadian Forces
QUEEN'S UNIV KINGSTON (ONTARIO) ERGONOMICS RESEARCH GROUP
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As part of the research for the Advanced Personal Load Carriage System APLCS for the Canadian military, the Ergonomics Research Group ERG at Queens University has performed an extensive review of current load carriage systems and load carriage literature. A background report on the evolution and current state of load carriage equipment was prepared for ERG. Civilian trekkers responded to interviews covering many design features and ergonomic preferences for current load carriage systems. They reviewed the three military and one commercial pack that ERG possesses. Military load carriage equipment from Canada and two foreign countries has been examined and evaluated by our team of scientists and load carriage experts. Canadian military personnel provided feedback through questionnaires and interviews on the strengths and weakness of various design elements. Additional information was solicited on load carriage limits, typical tasks and operating conditions. In some cases, there are clear deficiencies in some design elements. However, in many instances the success of a particular configuration is individual andor task andor environment specific. One of the main benefits of this review has been a better understanding of the interplay amongst these factors. Scientific and popular literature on load carriage design elements and performance ratings has been summarized in this report. Many studies have been performed to assess the effects of load carriage on humans. Factors studied included total load, load distribution, and various load carriage systems. Conditions range from forced marches of several days to balance, treadmill or circuit tests in the laboratory. Formal assessment methods are mostly based on physiological or biomechanical measurements or ratings of perceived exertion.
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