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The effects of age and type of carrying task on lower extremity kinematics

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of age, load amount and load symmetry on lower extremity kinematics during carrying tasks. Forty-two participants in four age groups (8-10 years, 12-14 years, 15-17 years and adults) carried loads of 0%, 10% and 20% body weight (BW) in large or small buckets unilaterally and bilaterally. Reflective markers were tracked to determine total joint range of motion and maximum joint angles during the stance phase of walking. Maximum hip extension, hip adduction and hip internal rotation angles were significantly greater for each of the child/adolescent age groups as compared with adults. In addition, maximum hip internal rotation angles significantly increased when carrying a 20% BW load. The observation that the 8-10-year-old age group carried the lightest absolute loads and still displayed the highest maximum hip internal rotation angles suggests a particular necessity in setting carrying guidelines for the youngest children. Statement of Relevance: Bucket-carrying tasks were analysed as a function of age group, load amount and load symmetry. Hip joint rotations significantly increased when carrying 20% BW loads and in children as compared to adults, which suggests a particular necessity in setting carrying guidelines for the youngest age group (8-10 year olds).
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Keywords: biomechanics; gait; load carriage; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA 2: Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA 3: Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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