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  • Author: John Ward x
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Spine Buddy® Supportive Pad Impact on Single-Leg Static Balance and a Jogging Gait of Individuals Wearing a Military Backpack


The Spine Buddy® supportive pad was developed to be inserted underneath military backpacks to help disperse the heavy load of the backpack. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact the additional supportive pad had on static balance and a running gait while wearing a military backpack. Forty healthy subjects (age= 27.5 + 5.6 yrs, body height= 1.78 + 0.06 m, body mass= 86.5 + 14.0 kg: mean + SD) participated in a static single-leg balance test on a force plate with each lower limb while wearing a 15.9 kg military backpack for 30 s. Following this, participants were randomized to one of two interventions: 1) Intervention, which wore the Spine Buddy® supportive pad underneath their backpack or 2) Control, with no additional supportive pad. Post-intervention measurements of static single-leg balance were then recorded. Afterwards, a similar pre vs post testing schedule and randomization scheme was used to test the impact of the supportive pad on a 5 mph jogging gait using Vicon® cameras. Within-group data were analyzed with a 2-way repeated measures ANOVA. Statistically significant differences were not seen between the control and experimental group for balance and gait variables. Preliminarily, this suggests that the Spine Buddy® supportive pad causes no deleterious effect on static balance and a jogging gait in 18-45 year-old asymptomatic individuals.

Open access
The Planning and Appraisal of Mega Transport Infrastructure Projects Delivered by Public–Private Partnerships: The Case for the Use of Policy-Led Multi-Criteria Analysis


Mega transport infrastructure projects are frequently perceived as critical to the “success” of major metropolitan, regional and national development because of their potential to affect significant socioeconomic and territorial changes. However, the mega infrastructure development literature tends to focus upon the frequent failures of such projects because of their inability to meet their original expectations.

A major cause for such perceived underperformance has been attributed to the inadequacies of ex-ante project appraisal methodologies. In particular, their excessively narrow focus has prompted growing calls for broader and more transparent project appraisal frameworks. These calls coincide with a period where public private partnerships (PPPs) are growing in importance globally as the favoured procurement route for governments looking to undertake new mega transport infrastructure developments. Some see the practicalities of PPPs as placing them at odds with aspirations for more inclusive and open project appraisal with adequate consideration of the public interest.

It is the authors’ contention that if introduced with broader and more systematically presented sustainability concerns, PPPs can remain compatible with such ambitions. Towards this end, this paper presents the rudimentaries of a policy-led multi-criteria analysis (PLMCA) approach to project appraisal as a means by which PLMCA can contribute to more holistic PPP procurement practices. The authors contend in the latter part of the paper that PLMCA addresses many of the limitations associated with the application of narrower decision-making and project appraisal approaches currently supporting PPPs and other more conventional procurement practices.

Open access