Effects of backpack load and positioning on nonlinear gait features in young adults

Fabio Rodrigues, R.M. Magnani, Georgia Lehnen, Gustavo Souza, Adriano Andrade, Marcus Vieira

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Overloaded backpacks can cause changes in posture and gait dynamic balance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess gait regularity and local dynamic stability in young adults as they carried a backpack in di erent positions, and with di erent loads. Twenty-one healthy young adults participated in the study, carrying a backpack that was loaded with 10 and 20% of their body weight (BW). The participants walked on a level treadmill at their preferred walking speeds for 4 min under di erent conditions of backpack load and position (i.e. with backpack positioned back bilaterally, back unilaterally, frontally or without a backpack). Results indicate that backpack load and positioning signi cantly in uence gait stability and regularity, with the exception of the 10% BW bilateral back position. Therefore, the recommended safe load for school-age children and adolescents (10% of BW) should also be considered for young adults.
Practitioner summary: Increase in load results in changes in posture, muscle activity and gait parameters, so we investigated the gait adaptations related to regularity and stability. Conditions with high backpack loads signi cantly in uenced gait stability and regularity in a position- dependent manner, except for 10% body weight bilateral back position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-728
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Early online dateDec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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