Effect of Backpack Carriage Position on Physiological Cost and Subjective Responses of University Students
Authors: Salil Joseph, Arijit Sengupta
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect that the position of a backpack has on physiological cost and perceptual responses of university students. Twelve male volunteers walked at a brisk pace along a half-mile indoor course that included level hallways, stairs, and ramps carrying books weighing 15% of their body weight in a backpack on upper back vs. lower back placement vs. no load condition. Average heart rate (HR) and subjective body discomfort ratings in neck, shoulder, upper back and lower back were significantly higher (p<.05) for carrying the backpack as compared to walking with no load. The peak HR was significantly higher (p<.05) for upper backpack position (122 bpm) compared to that for lower backpack position (117 bpm). Average HR, body discomfort ratings, and fatigue measures of bilateral trapezius muscles showed increasing trends from no load to lower backpack to upper backpack positions; however the increases were not statistically significant. The results indicated that wearing the backpack on upper back may impose additional physical stress on male university students.
Keywords: Backpack, Load position, Heart rate, Discomfort, EMG
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