The influence of rifle carriage on the kinetics of human gait

S.A. Birrell, R.A. Haslam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The influence that rifle carriage has on human gait has received little attention in the published literature. Rifle carriage has two main effects, to add load to the anterior of the body and to restrict natural arm swing patterns. Kinetic data were collected from 15 male participants, with 10 trials in each of four experimental conditions. The conditions were: walking without a load (used as a control condition); carrying a lightweight rifle simulator, which restricted arm movements but applied no additional load; wearing a 4.4 kg diving belt, which allowed arms to move freely; carrying a weighted (4.4 kg) replica SA80 rifle. Walking speed was fixed at 1.5 m/s (±5%) and data were sampled at 400 Hz. Results showed that rifle carriage significantly alters the ground reaction forces produced during walking, the most important effects being an increase in the impact peak and mediolateral forces. This study suggests that these effects are due to the increased range of motion of the body's centre of mass caused by the impeding of natural arm swing patterns. The subsequent effect on the potential development of injuries in rifle carriers is unknown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-826
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Early online date16 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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