Activities of daily living include carrying objects using one hand. Carrying a load using one hand can alter the loading on the musculoskeletal system as well as the walking pattern. The objective of this pilot study was to quantify the ground reaction forces, electromyographic (EMG) activity of trunk muscles, and trunk motion during walking. Nine human volunteers with no symptoms of pain were recruited from the student and employee population of an academic institution. Data were recorded from 8 volunteer subjects. Participants were asked to walk at self-selected speed back and forth at their comfortable speed carrying loads varying from 0 to 25 pounds on right hand on a wooden walking platform for 30 steps/cycles. Motion data were recorded from T1, L1, L3, and S1 vertebrae at a sampling frequency of 120 Hz. Range of Motion (ROM), Correlation Dimension (CoD), and Approximate Entropy (ApEn) was computed using custom written MatLab programs. EMG data were recorded from six muscle groups bilaterally (right and left): Erector Spinae, Multifidus, Latissimus Dorsi, Internal Obliques, External Obliques and Rectus Abdominis at a frequency of 1200 Hz. Root mean square EMG values, Mean and Median Frequency of the EMG data were calculated to observe the effect of increasing load on muscle fatigue using custom developed MatLab program. Ground reaction force (GRF) data were collected using a force plate and the associated 1st peak force (Fz1), 2nd Peak force (Fz3) and minimum force (Fz2) between the two peak forces were calculated during gait cycle. The ROM values had a range from 2.6–3.2 deg. for Lumbar lateral bending (LB), 6.7–8.7 deg. for Thoracic LB. Approximate Entropy (ApEn) values ranged from 0.20–0.40 for Lumbar LB motion and 0.30–0.50 for Thoracic LB motion. Correlation Dimension (CoD) values ranged from 1.20–1.40 for lumbar LB and 1.20–1.30 for Thoracic LB. Normalized GRF increased during walking with increased load. Significance difference (P<0.05) were found for vGRF with increase in load. Motion and EMG data did not reveal any significant differences.

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