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The effects of 10% front load carriage on the likelihood of slips and falls.
Ind Health 2008 Jan; 46(1):32-39
The objective of the present study was to evaluate if anterior load carriage would increase the likelihood of slips or falls while walking over a slippery floor surface. The study hypothesized that anterior load carriage may alter spatial-temporal characteristics, such as heel contact velocity, walking velocity (i.e., the whole body center-of-mass velocity), and step length, as well as friction demand characteristics at shoe-floor interface. Additionally, the study hypothesized that alterations in these gait parameters may influence slip initiation characteristics while ambulating over a slippery floor surface. Total of 10 subjects participated in the study: 5 younger (18-28 yr old) and 5 older adults (65 and older). A mixture was used to manipulate the coefficient of friction (COF) of the floor surface. All participants were unexpectedly introduced to a slippery surface while walking with and without a load. To evaluate slip severity, slip distance I and II were evaluated to assess whether a subject fell or not. Three-way repeated measure ANOVA (mix-factor design) was performed: Age factor: between-subject, Load and Floor factors: within-subject. Overall, older adults' heel contact velocity was slower while carrying a load. Additionally, all participants exhibited shorter SL while carrying a load. No significant friction demand characteristic differences were observed for all subjects while carrying a 10% front load. The results from the present study suggest that carrying 10% of the body weight in front should not intensify the slip propensity and severity although appears to influence spatial-temporal gait characteristics.
Fall-protection; Accidents; Humans; Men; Women; Age-groups; Biomechanics; Physiology; Weight-factors; Floors; Fall-protection; Age-factors; Body-mechanics; Body-weight; Author Keywords: Load; Walking; Slips; Falls; RCOF
Thurmon E. Lockhart, Locomotion Research Laboratory, Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Issue of Publication
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division