The effect of load position on biomechanical and physiological measures during a short duration march


  1. Johnson, R.C.
  2. Pelot, R.P.
  3. Doan, J.B.
  4. Stevenson, J.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
This project attempted to determine the physiological and biomechanical effects of varying the centre of gravity of a load in a backpack in a short duration activity. Experienced soldiers (n=22) carried a 36.0 kg modified US Army ALICE backpack on a treadmill at 5.6 km/h for 15 minutes at 0 degree elevation. The subjects carried the load in three locations in a backpack (a high, middle and low distribution) and employed a load carriage vest as an 'alternative' distribution. This 'alternative' distribution balanced the load on the front and back of the subject. Oxigen consumption results showed no statistically significant difference between load locations (P=0.621). Biomechanical analysis of the trunk lean and minimum included hip angles indicated significant differences between all 'alternative' comparisons as well as between the low and high load locations (P<0.05). Maximum knee flexion angles were also shown to be significantly different between the low and alternate conditions. Cadence, stride length and displacement of the body COG did not show significant differences between conditions. Subjective evaluation indicated a stong preference for the alternative load condition due to the overall increased mobility and decreased feeling of discomfort. TRUNCATED
Load carriage;Load optimization;Ergonomics
Report Number
DCIEM-SL-2000-129;RTO-MP-056 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
31 Dec 2000
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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