During training, service members routinely walk with heavy body borne loads for long periods of time. These loads alter knee biomechanics and may produce jerky knee motions that reportedly increase joint loading and risk of musculoskeletal injury. Yet, it is unknown if service members use jerky knee motions during prolong walking with body borne load.
To quantify the effects of body borne load and duration of walking on the jerkiness of sagittal and frontal plane knee motion.
Eighteen participants had angular jerk of knee motion quantified while they walked (1.3 m/s) for 60-min with three body borne loads (0, 15, and 30 kg). Peak and cost of angular jerk for sagittal and frontal plane knee motion was quantified and submitted to a repeated measures linear model to test the main effects and interaction of load (0, 15, and 30 kg) and time (0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min).
Body borne load increased peak and cost of angular jerk for sagittal plane knee motion up to 35 % and 110 %, respectively, and frontal plane knee motion up to 20 % and 51 %, respectively (all p<0.001), while jerk cost of frontal plane knee motion (p=0.001) increased 31 % after walking 45 min.
Body borne load produced large (between 20 % and 110 %), incremental increases in angular jerk for both sagittal and frontal plane knee motion; whereas, duration of walking led to a 31 % increase in jerkiness of frontal plane knee motion. Service members who often walking for long periods of time with heavy body borne loads may have greater risk of developing musculoskeletal injury and disease due to large increases in jerky knee motions.

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References

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