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Slips and falls are common injuries among restaurant and food service workers. It is estimated that food service workers have 60% higher rate of occupational injury or illness than workers in other industry. This study investigates effects of asymmetric load carriage at shoulder level on gait characteristics. Each participant walked with a service tray held at shoulder height. Each participant’s gait was analyzed under 3 different load walking conditions, no load walking (NLW), intermediate load walking (ILW) (2.5% BW), and maximum load walking (MLW) (5% BW). We found that participants walked significantly slower with gait cycle time 1.125s versus 1.150 s in MLW compared to NLW(p<0.05). We also found that single limb stance time reduced significantly from 0.706s during NLW to 0.694s during MLW and swing time reduced significantly from 0.89s to 0.86s. This study will help design interventions for falls due to load carriage among food service workers.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting in 2020. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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