Does Weight on Feet Wear You Out 5x as Much on a Hike?

  • Thread starter liz32
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In summary, Four hundred years ago Sir Isaac Newton and later Coriolis pointed out that Work equals Force times Distance. Work is the energy needed to carry a heavy load over the landscape, with the weight of the load being the Force against gravity. Each step forward requires a small Distance upward and this is where the work is done. The old adage that "a pound on your feet equals five on your back" holds true because the feet are lifted five times the Distance the pack is lifted. So, the Work needed to move one pound of footwear one step is five times the Work needed to move one pound of pack weight. This is due to the acceleration and deceleration required for each step, making it
  • #1
liz32
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Four hundred years ago Sir Isaac Newton pointed out that Work equals Force times Distance. Work is the energy needed to carry a heavy load over the landscape. The weight of the load is the Force against gravity. Each step forward requires a small Distance upward and here is where the work is done. Indeed the old-as-dirt adage that "a pound on your feet equals five on your back" follows because on average feet move, say, five inches upward with each step forward. Meanwhile the pack moves but an inch upward in the process. Thus the Work needed to move one pound of footwear one step is five times the Work needed to move one pound of pack weight, because the feet are lifted five times the Distance the pack is lifted. At least that's how I figure it.

I understand that work is only done when there is a force to resist it but will weight on you feet really wear you out on the end of a hike as much as fives times that weight in your pack?
 
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  • #2
liz32 said:
Four hundred years ago Sir Isaac Newton pointed out that Work equals Force times Distance. Work is the energy needed to carry a heavy load over the landscape. The weight of the load is the Force against gravity. Each step forward requires a small Distance upward and here is where the work is done. Indeed the old-as-dirt adage that "a pound on your feet equals five on your back" follows because on average feet move, say, five inches upward with each step forward. Meanwhile the pack moves but an inch upward in the process. Thus the Work needed to move one pound of footwear one step is five times the Work needed to move one pound of pack weight, because the feet are lifted five times the Distance the pack is lifted. At least that's how I figure it.

I understand that work is only done when there is a force to resist it but will weight on you feet really wear you out on the end of a hike as much as fives times that weight in your pack?

Welcome to the PF. So are you saying that pushing the weight on a cart with wheels on a level road requires no work?
 
  • #3
i don't know, i am just asking if weight on the feet will end up costing you more energy (proportional to the distance it is moved against gravity) than the weight added to a backpack.
 
  • #4
Hey buddy. I hope I'm qualified to answer your question...

But yes you would be saving a significant amount of energy, not necessarily due to the increase in vertical height, as it is mostly to due with acceleration and deceleration, and the implications they bring. You realize, your feet have to stop and accelerate (quite quickly unless you want to trip,) to over double your body's speed in order to catch up and keep you upright. That stop and go would be difficult with any weight, but if you use the same weight and kept its inertia going at a relatively steady pace, it will seem much more effortless.

All about mass x acceleration!
 
  • #5
liz32 said:
Four hundred years ago Sir Isaac Newton pointed out that Work equals Force times Distance.
Nope.

Coriolis formulated "Work equals Force times Distance" , not Newton.

And Coriolis did that just 180 years ago, in a paper from 1829 or so.
 
  • #6
thanks impavid
 

Related to Does Weight on Feet Wear You Out 5x as Much on a Hike?

1. How does weight on feet affect fatigue during a hike?

The weight on your feet can significantly increase fatigue during a hike. This is because the muscles in your feet and legs have to work harder to support the extra weight, leading to quicker exhaustion.

2. Is there a specific ratio for how much weight on feet impacts fatigue during a hike?

While there is no exact ratio, it is generally believed that every pound of weight on your feet can feel like 5 pounds on your back. This can vary based on factors such as terrain and distance.

3. How can I reduce the weight on my feet during a hike?

One way to reduce weight on your feet is by wearing lightweight and properly fitting hiking boots. You can also consider carrying a lighter backpack and distributing the weight evenly between your hips and shoulders.

4. Does the type of footwear make a difference in how much weight affects fatigue?

Yes, the type of footwear can make a difference in how much weight affects fatigue. Hiking boots with good ankle support and cushioning can help reduce the impact of weight on your feet, compared to wearing sneakers or sandals.

5. Can carrying too much weight on my feet during a hike lead to injuries?

Carrying too much weight on your feet can increase the risk of injuries such as blisters, sprains, and strains. The added strain on your feet and legs can also lead to fatigue, making it more difficult to navigate uneven or steep terrain.

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