Accession Number : ADA332962

Title :   Investigation of Female Load Carrying Performance.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 23 Jan-31 Dec 95,

Corporate Author : ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

Personal Author(s) : Harper, William H. ; Knapik, Joseph ; de Pontbriand, Rene

PDF Url : ADA332962

Report Date : JAN 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 120

Abstract : This study examined the relative load-carrying ability of men and women. Nineteen male and fifteen female soldiers (medical specialists who had just completed advanced individual training) carried loads of 18, 27, and 36 kg during an individual maximal effort 10-km road march. March times, heart rates, and subjective exertion ratings were collected every 2.5 km along the road march course and at the finish. Before and after the march, maximum vertical jump, grenade throw distance, and pain, soreness and discomfort of various body locations were assessed and a post-march questionnaire about equipment was completed. The major findings were that the average march rates for both male and female soldiers in all load conditions were faster than the rates published in Field Manual 21-18 (U.S. Army, 1990). This suggests that the test subjects were within the published zone of acceptable foot march performance. Men completed the marches an average of 21% faster than the women. Women reported more problems with the shoulder straps, fit of the pistol belts, and the fit and stability of the rucksack. Women also reported greater pain, soreness, and discomfort in the back regions than men did after carrying the heaviest load. This suggests that at least a portion of the gender differences in march rate may be explained by the equipment problems reported by the women, and equipment redesigned specifically for the female population may reduce the magnitude of the difference. Increasing load masses resulted in slower march times, more perceived exertion, and reports of greater pain, soreness, and discomfort regardless of gender. The maximal effort march itself (regardless of gender or load) results in slight decrements in grenade throw distance.

Descriptors :   *ARMY PERSONNEL, *STRENGTH(PHYSIOLOGY), *FEMALES, LOAD DISTRIBUTION, PERFORMANCE(HUMAN), COMPARISON, PAIN, HEART RATE, FIELD EQUIPMENT, BACKPACKS.

Subject Categories : Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE