Effects of Torso-Borne Load Redistribution on Comfort and Gait Mechanics

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Meeting of the World Congress of Biomechanics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Effective methods of load carriage are needed by the military to reduce injury and maintain soldier readiness. The most common injuries resulting from load carriage are lower extremity overuse injuries and lower back injuries.[1] The Army Torso Borne Load Assistance System (ATLAS) is an experimental device designed at the US Military Academy to redistribute the weight of a torso-borne load to the hips. ATLAS uses three flexible struts to transfer the load of body armor to a hip belt, utilizing the larger hip and leg muscles to support. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of ATLAS on hip and shoulder comfort, and kinetic variables that have been previously associated with lower back injury: loading rate[2], peak ground reaction forces (pGRF) in the vertical, medial, and lateral directions[3], and total vertical impulse. It is hypothesized that ATLAS will decrease the magnitude of kinetic variables and comfort in the hips, but increase comfort in the shoulders.

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