Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stability and metabolic analysis of walking on cross-slopes with various vertically placed backpack loads and without loads
by Elliott, Robin James, Ph.D., The University of Utah, 2016, 99; 10248968
Abstract (Summary)

Though many who walk along roadside cambers and hill edges may have an interest in making their travels sure and effective, those most concerned may be soldiers in the infantry. They need to be injury free and have as much energy as possible when they march into battle.

Walking on uneven ground without being injured by falling down (particularly with a heavy backpack) is generally accomplished by maintaining stability. This present study was conducted to determine an individual’s most stable position (using a stability formula which compares dynamic center of mass with center of pressure) when wearing a backpack under differing load positions - low back, middle back or high back – and differing walking angles: level, as well as along a cross-sloped surface.

Furthermore, this study investigated the stability of persons walking along a cross-slope without a load.

Finally, this study attempted to determine which combination of backpack load location and slope tilt best conserved metabolic energy.

To carry out this backpack stability research, a group of 15 participants were asked to walk along an indoor track under the varying conditions mentioned (i.e., low to high backpack load positions and level to 10 degree tilted cross-slopes). The trials of their walks were performed randomly. The participants were recorded in a motion capture system and force plates documented their stepping times and locations.

Again, the same 15 participants walked along the track under the same conditions, but without the loads to determine the effect of different cross-slope angles on their stability.

Lastly, the same participants walked the track under the various conditions wearing portable oxygen sensors to analyze their energy expenditure.

The results of these limited tests indicate no significant stability differences between 0, 5 or 10 degree angles in cross-slope walking loaded or unloaded. Nor was any significant stability differences noted between the various load locations of the backpacks. Nor was there a significant energy difference between the conditions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bloswick, Donald
Commitee: DeVries, Kenneth L., Merryweather, Andrew, Scarlett, John, Wood, Eric
School: The University of Utah
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-B 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering, Biomechanics
Keywords: Backpack, Cross-slope, Stability
Publication Number: 10248968
ISBN: 978-1-369-57337-4
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