Body armor, performance, and physiology during repeated high-intensity work task

Larsen, Brianna and Netto, Kevin and Skovli, Daniel and Vincs, Kim and Vu, Sarah and Aisbett, Brad (2012) Body armor, performance, and physiology during repeated high-intensity work task. Military Medicine, 177 (11). pp. 1308-1315. ISSN 0026-4075


This study examined the effect of body armor during repeated, intermittent high-intensity simulated military work. Twelve males performed 11 repetitions of a military style circuit, wearing no armor on one occasion and full armor (∼17 kg) on another. Performance was measured by the time to complete individual work tasks plus overall circuit time to completion. Heart rate, intestinal temperature, and rating of perceived exertion were recorded after each circuit. Participants’ circuit time to completion was 7.3 ± 1.0 seconds slower (p < 0.01) when wearing armor. Shooting, vaulting, and crawling were also slower (0.8 ± 0.2, 0.4 ± 0.2, and 1.0 ± 0.4 seconds, respectively; all p ≤ 0.05). No differences were observed for box lifting. Higher core temperatures were reported for the armor condition for circuit’s 7 to 11 (p = 0.01–0.05). Rating of perceived exertion was higher (1 ± 0; p = 0.03) when wearing armor. No differences were observed for heart rate. Wearing armor impairs repeated high-intensity military task performance. In the relatively short work time utilized, this decrement did not accrue over time. The impairment may, then, be related to the armor load, rather than accumulating fatigue.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
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Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 02:01
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2020 02:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: body armor; physical performance; exercise; strain
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350505 Occupational and workplace health and safety
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
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