Background: The college students (18-25 years) compelled to carry backpack load and are susceptible to stress. Acceptable load limit is 10-15% of Body Weight (BW) among children and adolescents. Pulmonary function is an important physiological parameter which governs the cumulative stress on the body. The relationship between backpack carriage and pulmonary function parameters has not been explicitly studied among young adults.
Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the changes in Forced Vital Capacity(FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) and Tiffeneau index (FEV1%) with different duration of carriage at the level of 15% and 10% load of BW compared to no load condition.
Methods: Pulmonary function tests were performed using Mini Spir (software Winspiro PRO) at 0-1 min, 10-11 min, 15-16 min of carriage among males (n=13) and females (n=19) with 15% load of BW; females (n=10) with 10% load of BW. Repeated measures ANOVA and paired two tailed student’s t test were performed.
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA revealed, there was significant difference in FVC and FEV1 at different durations, when females carried both 15% and 10% load of BW. While carrying 15% load of BW at 0-1 min,10-11 min,15-16 min, females showed significant difference in FEV1 (p=0.004; p=0.0001; p=0.0001, respectively), FVC (p=0.031; p=0.003; p=0.0002, respectively) and FEV1% (p=0.026; p=0.010; p=0.047, respectively); males showed significant difference in FEV1 at 15-16 min (p=0.044) compared to no load. Females carrying 10% load of BW showed significant difference in FEV1 at 0-1 min (p=0.027) and 15-16 min (p=0.020), FVC in 15-16 min (p=0.024) compared to no load. Obstructive pattern was observed among females (n=10) with increased load.
Conclusion: Males must not carry 15% static load of BW for more than 15 min and females should carry load lower than 10% of BW.