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Military load carriage: an innovative method of interface pressure measurement and evaluation of novel load carriage designs

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posted on 26.07.2018 by Jennifer L. Martin
This thesis is concerned with the measurement and effects of pressure on the body as a result of military load carriage. High skin pressures are associated with impaired blood flow, brachial plexus disorders and user pain and discomfort. Load carriage research has largely overlooked this issue, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate methodology. The thesis consists of two parts. The aim of part I was to develop and validate a novel method of measuring on-body interface pressures underneath military load carriage equipment. The Tekscan system was used, which provides 954 individual sensing elements over a total sensing area of 238.5cm2. A number of small experiments were undertaken to establish appropriate calibration and measurement error. A five-point rating scale was developed, and included within the experimental procedure; to measure user discomfort at the shoulder area where was 'no discomfort' and 5 was 'unbearably uncomfortable'. Following a pilot study the method was shown to produce reliable data that was sensitive to differences in design of load carriage systems within a comparative experimental design. [Continues.]


Great Britain, Ministry of Defence, Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency.



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© Jennifer Martin

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.




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