Evaluation of the effect of backpack load and position during standing and walking using biomechanical, physiological and subjective measures

  • Devroey C
  • Jonkers I
  • de Becker A
 et al. 
  • 106


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 67


    Citations of this article.


Recommendations on backpack loading advice restricting the load to 10% of body weight and carrying the load high on the spine. The effects of increasing load (0%-5%-10%-15% of body weight) and changing the placement of the load on the spine, thoracic vs. lumbar placement, during standing and gait were analysed in 20 college-aged students by studying physiological, biomechanical and subjective data. Significant changes were: (1) increased thorax flexion; (2) reduced activity of M. erector spinae vs. increased activation of abdominals; (3) increased heart rate and Borg scores for the heaviest loads. A trend towards increased spinal flexion, reduced pelvic anteversion and rectus abdominis muscle activity was observed for the lumbar placement. The subjective scores indicate a preference for the lumbar placement. These findings suggest that carrying loads of 10% of body weight and above should be avoided, since these loads induce significant changes in electromyography, kinematics and subjective scores. Conclusions on the benefits of the thoracic placement for backpack loads could not be drawn based on the parameter set studied.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Backpack
  • Load
  • Musculoskeletal adaptation
  • Subjective score

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free