Metabolic rate of carrying added mass: A function of walking speed, carried mass and mass location

Eliran Schertzer, Raziel Riemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The effort of carrying additional mass at different body locations is important in ergonomics and in designing wearable robotics. We investigate the metabolic rate of carrying a load as a function of its mass, its location on the body and the subject's walking speed. Novel metabolic rate prediction equations for walking while carrying loads at the ankle, knees and back were developed based on experiments where subjects walked on a treadmill at 4, 5 or 6. km/h bearing different amounts of added mass (up to 2. kg per leg and 22. kg for back). Compared to previously reported equations, ours are 7-69% more accurate. Results also show that relative cost for carrying a mass at a distal versus a proximal location changes with speed and mass. Contrary to mass carried on the back, mass attached to the leg cannot be modeled as an increase in body mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1432
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Load carrying
  • Metabolic cost
  • Prediction equations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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