Energy Expenditure & the Load Carriage Decision Aid (LCDA)

Research Paper Title

Estimating Energy Expenditure during Level, Uphill, and Downhill Walking.

Background

The Load Carriage Decision Aid (LCDA) walking equation was developed from literature-aggregated group mean data to calculate standing and level walking energy expenditures in healthy, military-age adults.

The LCDA walking equation has not been validated for use in individuals or graded walking.

The researchers aimed to validate the LCDA walking equation as a predictor of standing and level walking energy expenditure in individuals and expand to a new graded walking equation for uphill and downhill walking.

Methods

The researchers compiled standing, level walking, and graded walking energy expenditures measured in 95 participants from eleven studies. Walking speeds reached up to 1.96 m·s with grades ranging between -40% and 45%. The LCDA walking equation was validated against the aggregated standing and level walking data.

The new LCDA graded walking equation was developed and cross-validated on the graded walking trials. The researchers compared each equation against four reference predictive equations with the standard error of estimation (SEE) as the primary criterion.

Results

The LCDA walking equation accurately estimated standing and level walking energy expenditure (Bias, -0.02 ± 0.20 W·kg; SEE, 0.20 W·kg).

Addition of the novel grade term resulted in precise estimates of uphill and downhill walking energy expenditure (Bias, 0.09 ± 0.40 W·kg; SEE, 0.42 W·kg).

Conclusions

The LCDA walking equation is a valid predictor of standing and walking energy expenditure in healthy, military-age individuals. We developed a novel grade term for estimating both uphill and downhill walking energy expenditure with a single equation.

Practitioners can use the new LCDA graded walking equation to calculate energy expenditure during standing as well as walking on level, uphill, and downhill slopes.

Reference

Looney, D.P., Santee, W.R., Hansen, E.O., Bonventre, P.J., Chalmers, C.R. & Potter, A.W. (2019) Estimating Energy Expenditure during Level, Uphill, and Downhill Walking. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002002. [Epub ahead of print].

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