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Joint range of motion entropy changes in response to load carriage in military personnel

Morrison, Andrew; Hale, Jack; Brown, Susan


Andrew Morrison

Jack Hale


Andrew Morrison

Jack Hale
Data Collector


Overuse accounts for 82% of injuries in military personnel, and these occur predominantly in the spine and low limbs. While non-linear analyses have shown changes in overall stability of the movement during load carriage, individual joint contributions have not been studied. The concept of entropy compensation between task, organism and environmental constraints is studied at a joint level.

Research Question
The aim of this study was to investigate whether using different methods of loading by military personnel would have an effect on the sample entropy of the joint ranges of motion.

Eleven male reserve infantry army soldiers (age: 22 ? 2 years; height: 1.80 ? 0.06 m; mass: 89.3 ? 14.4 kg) walked an outdoor, 800m course under 5 load conditions: unloaded, 15kg backpack, 25kg backpack, 15kg webbing and backpack and 25kg webbing and backpack.
Kinematic data was recorded at 240Hz using the Xsens motion capture system. The ranges of motion (ROM) of the spine, hips and knee were calculated for each gait cycle. Mean ROM, coefficient of variation of the ROM and the sample entropy of the ROM were compared between conditions.

Spine side flexion ROM decreased significantly from the control condition in all loaded conditions, while sample entropy of the spine side flexion ROM increased in some conditions with no significant change in Coefficient of Variation (CV). Conversely, the hip flexion ROM increased significantly from the control, while sample entropy of the hip flexion ROM decreased.

These results suggest that entropy compensation may propagate at a joint level. Understanding that a decrease in certainty with which a joint angle is selected, may be accompanied by an increase at a neighbouring joint. This could be significant in monitoring injuries as a result of environmental or task constraints.


Morrison, A., Hale, J., & Brown, S. (2019). Joint range of motion entropy changes in response to load carriage in military personnel. Human Movement Science, 66, Article 249-257.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 28, 2019
Online Publication Date May 9, 2019
Publication Date Aug 1, 2019
Deposit Date May 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 10, 2020
Journal Human Movement Science
Print ISSN 0167-9457
Electronic ISSN 1872-7646
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Article Number 249-257
Keywords Military; load carriage; gait; sample entropy; non-linear;
Public URL


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