Although military body armor is an effective life saver, it considerably loads more weight on the warfighters, increasing the risk of musculoskeletal injury. This study investigated the immediate and prolonged effects of wearing body armor on timing aspect of lumbo-pelvic coordination during the toe-touch (TT) and two-legged-squat (TLS) tests. A cross-over study design was used wherein twelve asymptomatic and gender-balanced individuals completed two experimental sessions with and without body armor. A session included two similar sets of tests, before and after exposure to a treadmill walk, containing a TT and a TLS test with ten cycles of fast bending and return. Reflective markers were attached on the participants to capture the kinematics of body segments in conjunction with a motion capture system. The mean absolute relative phase (MARP) and deviation phase (DP) between the thorax and pelvis were calculated for each test. The pre-walk MARP in the return was significantly larger with versus without body armor (p = 0.022), while there were no significant effects of body armor on the other outcome measures. In addition, the pre-walk MARP and DP in the bending and return, as well as the walk-induced changes in the MARP in the bending phase were significantly larger in TLS versus TT (p < 0.026). Therefore, using a body armor immediately made the lumbo-pelvic coordination less in-phase during return, but no prolonged effects were found. Further investigation is necessary to specify chances wearing a body armor increases the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in the lower back and lower extremities joints.
|Journal||Journal of Biomechanics|
|State||Published - Oct 9 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
M.P. was supported by VA Chapter 33, I.S. was supported by an award ( 5R03HD086512-02 ) from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NIH-NICHD), and Statistical assistance was provided by University of Kentucky ’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (grant # UL1TR000117 ).
- Body armor
- Deviation phase
- Lumbo-pelvic coordination
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Relative phase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine