Differences in cardiovascular demand between male and female marines during progressive loaded hikes

Ben Schram, Rob Marc Orr, Brenda Niederberger, Andrea Givens, Jake Bernards, Karen Kelly

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


To determine the differences between male and female marines in cardiovascular load in progressive loaded hikes.

Prospective cohort study.

United State Marine Corps trainees (565 males; 185 females) completed six loaded hikes (1: 10kg, 30mins; 2: 10kg, 45mins; 3: 15kg, 30mins, 4: 15kg, 45mins; 5: 20kg, 30mins; 6: 20kg, 45mins) during which heart rate (HR) response was measured. HR average (HRavg), HR maximum (HRmax), and pace were measured via Polar Grit watch. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to compare between genders, with significance set at 0.008 after adjusting for multiple comparisons.

Female Marines were significantly lighter than male Marines for all hikes (p<0.001) with a significantly heavier relative load (10kg ~15%, 15kg ~25%, 20kg ~33%, p<0.001). There were no significant differences in pace in any hike and no significant differences were found in HRavg or HRmax when comparing male and female Marines during Hikes 1 or 2. HRavg was significantly higher for females during Hike 3 (+9.3bpm, p=0.002), with both HRavg and HRmax significantly higher in Hike 4 (+11.6bpm, +10.9bpm, p<0.001), Hike 5 (+8.2bpm, +9.1bpm p<0.001)and Hike 6 (+6.1bpm, +7.5bpm p<0.001) respectively.

Female marines have a greater cardiovascular demand during load carriage events when carrying loads above 15kg.
Key Practice Points:
•For female Marines cardiovascular demand may be higher when carrying loads above 15kg.
•Strategies to condition females to carry heavier relative loads need to be developed and this requirement should inform any return-to-training following injury.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2023
EventAustralian Physiotherapy Association: INGNITE Physiotherapy Conference 2023 - Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Oct 20237 Oct 2023


ConferenceAustralian Physiotherapy Association
Abbreviated titleINGNITE 2023
OtherWe have the chance to take physiotherapy to new levels and ignite the future of the profession through innovation and collaboration. Barriers can be broken down and communities connected.

Physiotherapists can look to the future and commit to excellence and equality, for themselves and the profession. Challenges can be made and met, passions ignited for what is possible.

We can evolve and explore the possibilities and make sure that physiotherapy comes out better than ever before.

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