This study investigated the impact of body armor weight and load magnitude and distribution on the lower extremities during walking. Range of motion (ROM) was assessed while seven healthy, male, right-handed, military university students walked while wearing seven different garments of varying weights (0.06 kg, 9 kg, 18 kg, and 27 kg) and load distributions. Decreased pelvic rotation found with an increase in weight implies decreased mobility by restricting the leg’s swing to propel the body forward. Increased ROM for pelvic tilt found with increased weight results from increased forward inclination suggesting an increased possibility for fatigue and musculoskeletal pain in the lower back. This study substantiated that a balanced weight distribution can minimize risk of chronic lumbar pain by reducing forward lean of the trunk or pelvic tilt; a balanced weight distribution around the torso at a level of 27 kg showed less change in ROM for pelvic tilt than an unbalanced weight distribution.
Park, Huiju; Branson, Donna; Petrova, Adriana; Peksoz, Semra; Goad, Carla; Warren, Aric J.; Jacobson, Bert; and Kamenidis, Panagiotis
"Effects of Body Armor and Load Carriage on Lower Limb Joint Movement,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
2, Article 3.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jhpee/vol10/iss2/3