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The effect of hip belt use and load placement in a backpack on postural stability and perceived exertion: A within-subjects trial

Golriz, S., Hebert, J.J., Foreman, K.B. and Walker, B.F. (2015) The effect of hip belt use and load placement in a backpack on postural stability and perceived exertion: A within-subjects trial. Ergonomics, 58 (1). pp. 140-147.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2014.960010
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of hip belt use and load placement in a backpack on perceived exertion and postural stability. Thirty participants were instructed to stand on a force plate and walk along a designated route under five conditions: unloaded, high-load placement, low-load placement, hip belt on and hip belt off. The average velocity and sway area from the force plate were measured. Participants also rated their perceived stability and exertion. Compared to the unloaded condition, all loaded conditions significantly increased average velocity, sway area, perceived stability and exertion. Hip belt use did not affect average velocity and sway area; however, participants reported higher levels of stability and lower levels of exertion with hip belt use. Load placement did not affect average velocity, sway area, perceived stability or exertion. This study showed that wearing a backpack loaded to 20% of body weight reduced postural stability, while manipulation of load placement in a backpack did not affect subjective and objective measures of postural stability. Also, hip belt use only improved subjective measures of postural stability.

Practitioner Summary: Load manipulation in a backpack did not affect stability and exertion. While hip belt use did not affect objective measures of stability, it helped participants to feel more stable and report less exertion. The findings are important for ergonomics backpack design and determining a proper way of packing and wearing a backpack.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: 2014 Taylor & Francis
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24183
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