Are there Gender Differences in Energy Expenditure During Walking With Backpack and Double-Pack Loads?

Research Paper Title

Gender Differences in Energy Expenditure During Walking With Backpack and Double-Pack Loads.

Background

Studies have reported that energy expenditure during walking with double-pack loads is lower compared with backpack carriage. However, the effect of gender on energy expenditure while walking with these two load distribution systems has not been investigated.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in energy expenditure during walking with backpack and double-pack loads.

Methods

Thirty healthy young adults (15 female and 15 male participants) walked on a treadmill with backpack and double-pack loads weighing 30% of their body weight at a speed of 0.89 m/s for 10 min.

The energy expenditure in terms of oxygen consumption (VO2) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were continuously monitored using a portable gas analyser throughout each walking exercise. A mixed-design analysis of variance model was adopted to test the effects of gender, pack, and time on VO2 and RER.

Results

No time effect was observed on VO2. However, significant gender, pack, and interaction effects were observed. The lowest VO2 was found in female participants under double-pack carriage. No significant gender or pack differences existed in RER. However, RER significantly and incrementally increased in time from the 4th through 6th, 8th, and 10th min.

Conclusions

This study revealed that heavy double-pack load carriage for healthy young female participants had significantly lower energy expenditure (normalised by the entire system weight, i.e., the participant’s weight plus the weight of the pack) than that of the male participants in a 10-min walking exercise.

Reference

Li, S.S.W. Chan, O.H.T., Ng, T.Y., Kam, L.H., Ng, C.Y., Chung, W.C., Chow, D.H.K. (2018) Gender Differences in Energy Expenditure During Walking With Backpack and Double-Pack Loads. Human Factors. doi: 10.1177/0018720818799190. [Epub ahead of print].

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