Bungee cords add a boost to backpack

MSNBC reported today on an interesting new backpack …

According to scientists, the ergonomic design of the new bungee pack reduces strain on shoulders and joints.

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The cords suspend the load in the pack so it stays at the same height from the ground while the wearer is running or walking, thus reducing the risks of muscle and joint problems.

Its designers said it will allow users to carry an extra 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) while expending the same amount of energy as when carrying a normal backpack.

“For the same energetic cost, you can either carry 48 pounds in a normal backpack or 60 pounds in a suspended ergonomic backpack,” Lawrence Rome of the University of Pennsylvania said in a written statement. “It is like carrying an extra 12 pounds for free.”

The backpack, which was designed for soldiers and emergency workers, could be useful for children and hikers.

“Being able to move at relatively high speeds is crucial for many professions as well as in some athletic competitions and recreation,” said Rome, who collaborated with researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

The scientists have formed a company to produce the backpacks — known as Lightning Packs — and are now working on a lighter, small version.

Could a bungee backpack make a 20 pound load feel like 10 pounds?

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

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