Carrying asymmetric loads during stair negotiation

Date
2017-03-01
Authors
Wang, Junsig
Gillette, Jason
Gillette, Jason
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Altmetrics
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Kinesiology
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Kinesiology
Abstract

Individuals often carry items in one hand instead of both hands during activities of daily living. The combined effects of carrying asymmetric loads and stair negotiation may create even higher demands on the low back and lower extremity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of symmetric and asymmetric loading conditions on L5/S1 and lower extremity moments during stair negotiation. Twenty-two college students performed stair ascent and stair descent on a three-step staircase (step height 18.5 cm, tread depth 29.5 cm) at preferred pace under five load conditions: no load, 10% body weight (BW) unilateral load, 20% BW unilateral load, 10% BW bilateral load, and 20% BW bilateral load. Video cameras and force platforms were used to collect kinematic and kinetic data. Inverse dynamics was used to calculate frontal plane moments for the L5/S1 and lower extremity. A 20% BW unilateral load resulted in significantly higher peak L5/S1 lateral bending, hip abduction, and external knee varus moments than nearly all other loading conditions during stair ascent and stair descent. Therefore, we suggest potential benefits when carrying symmetrical loads as compared to an asymmetric load in order to decrease the frontal joint moments, particularly at 20% BW load.

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This is a manuscript of an article from Gait & Posture, 53 (2017); 67-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.01.006. Posted with permission.

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