The impact of occupational load carriage on carrier mobility: a critical review of the literature

Simon D Carlton, Robin M Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Military personnel and firefighters are required to carry occupational loads and complete tasks in hostile and unpredictable environments where a lack of mobility may risk lives. This review critically examines the literature investigating the impacts of load carriage on the mobility of these specialist personnel. Several literature databases, reference lists, and subject matter experts were employed to identify relevant studies. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were critiqued using the Downs and Black protocol. Inter-rater agreement was determined by Cohen's κ. Twelve original research studies, which included male and female participants from military and firefighting occupations, were critiqued (κ = .81). A review of these papers found that as the carried load weight increased, carrier mobility during aerobic tasks (like road marching) and anaerobic tasks (like obstacle course negotiation) decreased. As such, it can be concluded that the load carried by some specialist personnel may increase their occupational risk by reducing their mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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