The ability to carry heavy loads is critical to many physically demanding occupations, such as military and fire-fighting. While it is convenient to study load carriage using a treadmill, it remains unknown how or if the energy cost and biomechanics of load carriage differ between treadmill and overground walking. This project, being run in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group), will examine the differences in energy cost between unloaded and loaded walking on a treadmill and overground. There is also the possibility to expand the project to examine differences in gait kinetics and kinematics between the two conditions. In addition to directly informing pack-marching guidelines in the military, the outcomes of this project will also help guide future load carriage research and determine whether a correction factor needs to be added to treadmill data in order to translate findings into real world settings.
Supervisors: Doug Whyte, Paul Tofari and Jace Drain (DST Group)