The Effect of Backpack Load Carriage on the Kinetics and Kinematics of Ankle and Knee Joints During Uphill Walking

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of load carriage on the kinematics and kinetics of the ankle and knee joints during uphill walking, including joint work, range of motion (ROM), and stance time. Fourteen males walked at a self-selected speed on an uphill (15°) slope wearing military boots and carrying a rifle in hand without a backpack (control condition) and with a backpack. The results showed that the stance time significantly decreased with backpack carriage (p < .05). The mediolateral impulse significantly increased with backpack carriage (p < .05). In the ankle joints, the inversion-eversion, and dorsi-plantar flexion ROM in the ankle joints increased with backpack carriage (p < .05). The greater dorsi-plantar flexion ROM with backpack carriage suggested 1 strategy for obtaining high plantar flexor power during uphill walking. The result of the increased mediolateral impulse and inversion-eversion ROM in the ankle joints indicated an increase in body instability caused by an elevated center of mass with backpack carriage during uphill walking. The decreased stance time indicated that an increase in walking speed could be a compensatory mechanism for reducing the instability of the body during uphill walking while carrying a heavy backpack.

Lee and Shin are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea. Yoon is with the Schools of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Address author correspondence to Choongsoo S. Shin at cshin@sogang.ac.kr.
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