A comparison of the physiological consequences of head-loading and back-loading for African and European women

  title={A comparison of the physiological consequences of head-loading and back-loading for African and European women},
  author={Ray Lloyd and Bridget M Parr and Simeon E.H. Davies and Ty Partridge and Carlton Brian Cooke},
  journal={European Journal of Applied Physiology},
The aim is to quantify the physiological cost of head-load carriage and to examine the ‘free ride’ hypothesis for head-load carriage in groups of women differing in their experience of head-loading. Twenty-four Xhosa women [13 experienced head-loaders (EXP), 11 with no experience of head-loading (NON)] attempted to carry loads of up to 70% of body mass on both their heads and backs whilst walking on a treadmill at a self-selected walking speed. Expired air was collected throughout. In a second… 
A kinetic comparison of back-loading and head-loading in Xhosa women
The most striking finding was that there was no difference in kinetic response to head-loading as a consequence of previous experience, and considering the differences between the load carriage methods, most changes were consistent with increasing load.
A comparison of economy and sagittal plane trunk movements among back-, back/front- and head-loading
It is concluded that economy is not different among the three methods of load carriage, despite significant differences in sagittal plane trunk movements.
The reliability of the Extra Load Index as a measure of relative load carriage economy
It is shown that the ELI is a reliable measure of load carriage economy at a range of walking speeds with both a light and heavy load and represents a useful tool for comparing the relative economy associated with different load carriage systems.
Biomechanical differences associated with two different load carriage systems and their relationship to economy
Purpose. to explore relationships between load carriage economy and the kinematics and kinetics of load carriage using both a backpack (bP) and a double pack (DP). Basic procedures. Nine participants
Head load carriage and pregnancy in West Africa.
Traditional posterior load carriage: effects of load mass and size on torso kinematics, kinetics, muscle activity and movement stability
The current findings, along with earlier work, suggest that load mass and size can influence LBP risk, and that use of smaller and light loads may be beneficial during PLC.
Traditional Posterior Load Carriage: Ergonomic Assessment and Intervention Efficacy
The intervention, involving a simple frame to support a load, and use with a higher load placement was found to be potentially beneficial as indicated by reduced lumbosacral moment and ratings of perceived discomfort in several anatomical regions compared to the traditional PLC.
Dynamic analysis of forces in the lumbar spine during bag carrying
Force levels suggest that this activity represents a moderate risk for the subjects, however, future biomechanical models should be developed to analyze the cumulative effect in the discs when longer periods of time are spent in this activity.


Metabolic and kinematic responses of African women headload carriers under controlled conditions of load and speed.
Energy-cost analyses on laboratory-habituated African women occupational headloaders is used to evaluate the free-ride hypothesis, but more especially to throw new light on the kinematics of foot-floor contact patterns.
Physiological and perceptual responses to load-carrying in female subjects using internal and external frame backpacks.
It was concluded that differences in backpack frame design were not great enough to produce significant differences in the energy cost or perception of carrying a moderately heavy load on the back.
The effect of load carriage on movement kinematics and respiratory parameters in children during walking
The results suggested that walking with a backpack of greater than 10% body mass induced significant changes in trunk posture and respiratory parameters in 10-year-old children.
Effects of a hip belt on transverse plane trunk coordination and stability during load carriage.
The effect of backpack load on the gait of normal adolescent girls
Concerns regarding the effects of load carriage have led to recommendations that backpacks be limited to 10 – 15% of body weight, based on significant changes in physical performance. However, gait
The effect of military load carriage on ground reaction forces.
Effects of load placement on back muscle activity in load carriage
  • J. Bobet, R. Norman
  • Biology
    European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
  • 2004
The results indicate that metabolic measures alone are not sufficient to adequately assess tasks which evoke primarily local muscle demands as well as qualitative biomechanical analysis suggests that the EMG differences are primarily due to differences in the moments and forces arising from the angular and linear accelerations of the load and trunk.
Energy-saving gait mechanics with head-supported loads
The mechanics of carrying head-supported loads by Kikuyu and Luo women are investigated, using a force platform, and the weight-specific mechanical work, required to maintain the motion of the common centre of mass of the body and load, decreases with load in the African women.
Influences of body composition upon the relative metabolic and cardiovascular demands of load-carriage.
Results show that indices of body composition as well as absolute aerobic power influence the relative metabolic demands of load-carriage.
Effects of load carriage, load position, and walking speed on energy cost of walking.