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The Pandolf equation under-predicts the metabolic rate of contemporary military load carriage
journal contributionposted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by Jace Drain, Brad AisbettBrad Aisbett, M Lewis, D C Billing
OBJECTIVES: This investigation assessed the accuracy of error of the Pandolf load carriage energy expenditure equation when simulating contemporary military conditions (load distribution, external load and walking speed). DESIGN: Within-participant design. METHODS: Sixteen male participants completed 10 trials comprised of five walking speeds (2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5km·h-1) and two external loads (22.7 and 38.4kg). RESULTS: The Pandolf equation demonstrated poor predictive precision, with a mean bias of 124.9W and -48.7 to 298.5W 95% limits of agreement. Furthermore, the Pandolf equation systematically under-predicted metabolic rate (p<0.05) across the 10 speed-load combinations. Predicted metabolic rate error ranged from 12-33% across all conditions with the 'moderate' walking speeds (i.e. 4.5-5.5km·h-1) yielding less prediction error (12-17%) when compared to the slower and faster walking speeds (21-33%). CONCLUSIONS: Factors such as mechanical efficiency and load distribution contribute to the impaired predictive accuracy. The authors suggest the Pandolf equation should be applied to military load carriage with caution.