Effects of wearing gumboots and leather lace-up boots on lower limb muscle activity when walking on simulated underground coal mine surfaces
This study aimed to investigate the effects of wearing two standard underground coal mining work boots (a gumboot and a leather lace-up boot) on lower limb muscle activity when participants walked across simulated underground coal mining surfaces. Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis) and hamstring (biceps femoris, semitendinosus) muscle activity were recorded as twenty male participants walked at a self-selected pace around a circuit while wearing each boot type. The circuit consisted of level, inclined and declined surfaces composed of rocky gravel and hard dirt. Walking in a leather lace-up boot, compared to a gumboot, resulted in increased vastus lateralis and increased biceps femoris muscle activity when walking on sloped surfaces. Increased muscle activity appears to be acting as a slip and/or trip prevention strategy in response to challenging surfaces and changing boot features.