The effect of load carriage on movement kinematics and respiratory parameters in children during walking

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 Sep;90(1-2):35-43. doi: 10.1007/s00421-003-0848-9. Epub 2003 May 29.


The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of different backpack weights on trunk kinematics and respiratory parameters during walking in 10-year-old children. Fifteen boys with a mean age of 10.31 (0.26) years were selected from a primary school to participate in four walking trials on a treadmill: one with a backpack of 0% of body mass, and three whilst carrying backpacks that weighed 10%, 15%, and 20% of the child's body mass. The walking speed was set at 1.1 m s(-1) for 20 min duration. The walking movement was recorded on video and analysed in two dimensions. The breathing frequency, tidal volume, and respiratory muscles activity were measured with a cardiopulmonary system (Oxycon Champion, Jaeger) and a respiratory inductance plethysmograph (TR-601T, Nihon Kohden, Japan). A repeated ANOVA and Pearson correlation analysis were used to examine any significant differences in the measured parameters when comparing the different loads. The results showed a significant positive linear relationship between load weight, trunk inclination angle, and breathing frequency ( P<0.01). Walking for 20 min, carrying a load that weighed 20% of body mass induced a significantly increased trunk inclination angle. A significant increase in ventilation during walking with a backpack of 15% and 20% of bodymass was associated with a more rapid breathing frequency. Walking with a backpack of 10% body mass did not significantly change trunk posture or respiratory parameters. However, 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiology
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Back / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / methods
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Posture
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*