Assessing infant carriage systems: ground reaction force implications for gait of the caregiver

Brown, Mathew, Digby-Bowl, C. and Todd, S. D (2017) Assessing infant carriage systems: ground reaction force implications for gait of the caregiver. Human Factors. ISSN 0018-7208.

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Objective: To assess the acute alterations of anterior infant carriage systems on the ground reaction force experienced during over ground walking.

Background: Previous research has identified the alterations in posture and gait associated with an increased anterior load (external or internal); however the forces applied to the system due to the altered posture during over ground walking have not been established.

Method: Thirteen mixed gender participants completed forty-five over ground walking trials at a self-selected pace under three loaded conditions (unloaded, semi-structured carrier 9.9kg and structured carrier 9.9kg). Each trial consisted of a fifteen metre walkway, centred around a piezoelectric force platform sampling at 1200 Hz. Differences were assessed between loaded and unloaded conditions and across carriers using paired samples t-tests and repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: Additional load increased all ground reaction force parameters; however, the magnitude of force changes was influenced by carrier structure. The structured carrier displayed increased force magnitudes, a reduction in the time to vertical maximum heel contact and an increased duration of the flat foot phase in walking gait.

Conclusion: Evidence suggest that the acute application of anterior infant carriers alters both kinetic and temporal measures of walking gait. Importantly these changes appear to be governed not solely by the additional mass but also by the structure of the carrier.

Application: These findings indicate carrier structure should be considered by the wearer and may be used to inform policy in the recommendation of anterior infant carriage systems use by caregivers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Mathew Brown
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 13:32
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2019 14:45

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00