The impact of occupational load carriage on carrier mobility: A critical review of the literature
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Military personnel and firefighters are required to carry occupational loads and complete tasks in hostile and unpredictable environments where a lack of mobility may risk lives. This review critically examines the literature investigating the impacts of load carriage on the mobility of these specialist personnel. Several literature databases, reference lists, and subject matter experts were employed to identify relevant studies. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were critiqued using the Downs and Black protocol. Inter-rater agreement was determined by Cohen’s κ. Twelve original research studies, which included male and female participants from military and firefighting occupations, were critiqued (κ = .81). A review of these papers found that as the carried load weight increased, carrier mobility during aerobic tasks (like road marching) and anaerobic tasks(like obstacle course negotiation) decreased. As such, it can be concluded that the load carried by some specialist personnel may increase their occupational risk by reducing their mobility.
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