A kinetic comparison of back-loading and head-loading in Xhosa women
Item TypeJournal Article
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to compare the kinetic responses associated with ground reaction force measurements to both head-loading and back-loading in a group of Xhosa women. Altogether, 16 women were divided into two groups based on their experience of head-loading. They walked over a force plate in three conditions: unloaded or carrying 20 kg in either a backpack or on their head. The most striking finding was that there was no difference in kinetic response to head-loading as a consequence of previous experience. Considering the differences between the load carriage methods, most changes were consistent with increasing load. Head-loading was, however, associated with a shorter contact time, smaller thrust maximum and greater vertical force minimum than back-loading. Both loading conditions differed from unloaded walking for a number of temporal variables associated with the ground contact phase, e.g. vertical impact peak was delayed whilst vertical thrust maximum occurred earlier. Statement of Relevance: Consideration of the kinetics of head and back load carriage in African women is important from a health and safety perspective, providing an understanding of the mechanical adaptations associated with both forms of load carriage for a group of people for whom such load carriage is a daily necessity.