ABSTRACT This study aimed to compare gait properties during level walking and during stair ascent and descent with varying loads. Fifteen healthy young men (mean age: 22.1 ± 1.6 years) walked while holding four different loads relative to each subject’s body mass (0, 20, 40 and 60% of body mass: BM) on their backs. Stance time, swing time, and double support times were selected as gait parameters. All parameters showed a maximal value during stair ascent and a minimum value during level walking. Stance and double support times increased significan-
tly with each load during level walking and during stair ascent and descent. In conclusion, st-
air ascent and descent creates more unstable movement than level walking regardless of the weight of the load. The effect of loads on gait increases with the weight of the load and becomes obvious once the load exceeds 60% of BM.
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