Military personnel are often required to march “in-step” while carrying heavy loads. For example, the two speeds required to complete the role fitness test for the British Army are close to the preferred walking speed and preferred walk-to-run transition speed (PTS) for healthy adults when unloaded. PTS depends on anthropometry, including stature. Walking at speeds markedly different to PTS has been associated with increased metabolic cost and increased joint loading. There is also limited research into how this PTS is affected by load carriage. To minimise the risk of injury, there is a need to understand how load carriage affects PTS. This study found PTS for male and female personnel decreased with increased load carried, and that female personnel tended to transition from walking to running earlier than male personnel. The relationship between PTS and stature became more positive as load increased, irrespective of sex. Due to the association between deviating from preferred walking gait and increases in joint loading, these findings may have implications for the risk of injury in military personnel who are required to march “in-step”.
Gill, Niamh; O'Leary, Thomas; Roberts, Andrew; Starbuck, Chelsea; Greeves, Julie; and Jones, Richard
"STATURE AND LOAD AFFECT THE WALK TO RUN TRANSITION SPEED,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 40:
1, Article 57.
Available at: https://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol40/iss1/57