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Bungee-powered backpack can lighten your load, University of Pennsylvania researcher says

he load as it shifts up and down," Rome said. "What is striking is that you can feel the 86% reduction in force with every step."

With a normal backpack, the peak force exerted by the load on the body during walking is twice as high as the static force, and during running it's three times as large, exerting extreme forces on the joints.

The backpack shifts the timing of how force is applied as the wearer takes a step.

"Essentially, the bungee cords permit the load to stay at nearly constant height from the ground while the wearer walks or runs around it," Rome said. "The pack actually reduces the metabolic cost of walking from one point to another by about 40 watts, or the equivalent of carrying 12 extra pounds.


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Contact: Greg Lester
glester@pobox.upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
20-Dec-2006


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