It is well established nowadays the benefits that physical activity can have on the health of individuals. Walking is considered a fundamental method of movement and using a backpack is a common and economical manner of carrying load weight. Nevertheless, the shock wave produced by the impact forces when carrying a backpack can have detrimental effects on health status. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in the accelerations placed on males and females whilst carrying different loads when walking. Twenty nine sports science students (16 males and 13 females) participated in the study under 3 different conditions: no weight, 10% and 20% body weight (BW) added in a backpack. Accelerometers were attached to the right shank and the centre of the forehead. Results showed that males have lower accelerations than females both in the head (2.62 ± 0.43G compared to 2.83 + 0.47G) and shank (1.37 ± 0.14G compared to 1.52 ± 0.15G; p<0.01). Accelerations for males and females were consistent throughout each backpack condition (p>0.05). The body acts as a natural shock absorber, reducing the amount of force that transmits through the body between the foot (impact point) and head. Anthropometric and body mass distribution differences between males and females may result in women receiving greater impact acceleration compared to men when the same load is carried.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.