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Appl Ergon. 2008 Mar;39(2):144-9. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Ergonomic effects of load carriage on energy cost of gradient walking.

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Faculty of Human Sciences, University of East Asia, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi 751-8503, Japan.


We examined the effects of load on the energy cost of walking (C(w)), being defined as the ratio of the 2-min steady-state oxygen consumption to the speed, and economical speed (ES) during level and gradient walking. Ten men walked on a treadmill at various speeds with and without a load on their back at 0% and +/-5% gradients. Significantly lower C(w) values were observed only when the load was carried on the back during level walking at slower speeds. The ES was significantly decreased by less than 5% when the load was carried on the back. Significant gradient differences were also observed in the ES in the load and no load conditions. These results would be applicable to a wider range of occupational and leisure tasks.

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