Effects of thigh holster use on kinematics and kinetics of active duty police officers

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Larsen, Louise B. ; Tranberg, Roy ; Ramstrand, Nerrolyn (2016)
  • Publisher: Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, PO Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2016.06.009
  • Subject: Gait analysis | Kinematics | Kinetics | Load carriage | Police | Thigh holster | Armor | Enzyme kinetics | Effect on gaits | Gait kinematics | Police officers | Specific tasks | Standard equipments | Testing conditions | Law enforcement | Orthopaedics | Ortopedi

Background: Body armour, duty belts and belt mounted holsters are standard equipment used by the Swedish police and have been shown to affect performance of police specific tasks, to decrease mobility and to potentially influence back pain. This study aimed to investigate the effects on gait kinematics and kinetics associated with use of an alternate load carriage system incorporating a thigh holster. Methods: Kinematic, kinetic and temporospatial data were collected using three dimensional gait analysis. Walking tests were conducted with nineteen active duty police officers under three different load carriage conditions: a) body armour and duty belt, b) load bearing vest, body armour and thigh holster and c) no equipment (control). Findings: No significant differences between testing conditions were found for temporospatial parameters. Range of trunk rotation was reduced for both load carriage conditions compared to the control condition (p < 0.017). Range of hip rotation was more similar to the control condition when wearing thigh holster rather than the belt mounted hip holster (p < 0.017). Moments and powers for both left and right ankles were significantly greater for both of the load carriage conditions compared to the control condition (p < 0.017). Interpretation: This study confirms that occupational loads carried by police have a significant effect on gait kinematics and kinetics. Although small differences were observed between the two load carriage conditions investigated in this study, results do not overwhelmingly support selection of one design over the other.
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