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Kinesiology faculty, students, publish study on injury risk between sexes

Tyler Brown

Two students and one faculty member from the Department of Kinesiology published the research article, “Sex and limb differences during a single-leg cut with body borne load” to the peer-reviewed journal Gait and Posture.

AuraLea Fain and Nicholas Lobb, both kinesiology master’s students, were joined by co-authors Tyler Brown, an assistant professor and director of the Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research, and Kayla Seymore, a former research assistant for the Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research. The team examined the risk of injury men and women in the military face as they perform common training tasks while carrying body-borne loads, such as a weighted backpack.

Researchers understood that carrying body borne loads during training tasks can increase individual’s risk of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly in the lower limbs, which then can influence muscles, nerves, ligaments, joints, blood vessels, the neck and lower back. However, researchers were interested in whether there was a difference in the level of risk between males and females.

The researchers studied 16 females and 20 males as they ran four meters per second towards a destination, plant their foot on a force platform and change the direction of their travel 45 degrees towards the opposite limb, all while carrying loads of either 20, 25, 30 and 35 kilograms. Researchers measured the impact this exercise had to participant’s limbs, and the effects of injury based on the weight of the load they carried. They also noted participants’ sex and the limb that was used when changing direction 45 degrees.

Their study found that females exhibited greater risk of musculoskeletal injury than males. The results also indicate that adding body-borne loads of any weight increased the risk of knee musculoskeletal injury, as well as potential strain of the knee’s soft-tissues, in both male and females. Additionally, females showed differences in their lower limb biomechanics that have the potential to elevate injury risk when carrying a weighted load.

– By Taylor Music