Publication Abstract

Impact of Occupational Footwear and Workload on Lower Extremity Muscular Exertion

Turner, A. J., Swain, J. C., McWhirter, K. L., Knight, A., Carruth, D. W., & Chander, H. (2018). Impact of Occupational Footwear and Workload on Lower Extremity Muscular Exertion. International Journal of Exercise Science. 11(1), 331-341.


Footwear worn and workload performed can influence muscular exertion, which is critical in occupational environments. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of two occupational footwear, steel-toed (SWB) and tactical (TWB) work boots, on muscular exertion when exposed to a physical workload. Eighteen healthy male participants (age: 21.27 ± 1.7 years; height: 177.67 ± 6.0 cm; mass: 87.95 ± 13.8 kg) were tested for maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) using electromyography (EMG) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) using an algometer for four lower extremity muscles prior to (pre-test) and two times after a physical treadmill workload (post-test 1 & post-test 2). Additionally, heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) at the end of the workload, and recovery were recorded along with the time spent on treadmill (TT). Results from the study revealed that PPT was significantly lowered in ankle dorsiflexors immediately following the workload and EMG mean and peak muscle activity were significantly lowered in post-test 2 session in knee extensors. No significant differences were found between footwear types in all measures. The findings could be attributed to the acute muscle soreness as a result of muscular exertion from the workload. The footwear design and mass did not impact PPT, MVIC, HR, RPE, and TT with the workload administered in the study.