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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2014 April;54(2):197-202

language: English

The effects of obesity classification method on select kinematic gait variables in adult females

Page Glave A. 1, Di Brezzo R. 2, Applegate D. K. 2, Olson J. M. 3

1 Health and Kinesiology Department, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX USA;
2 Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA;
3 Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK, USA


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Aim: Obesity has been associated with gait alterations, but most studies have utilized BMI for classification. This study examined gait alterations based on body fat and BMI.
Method: Participants (N.=22) had BMI and body fat percentage determined and underwent gait analysis. Body fat percentage was determined using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Gait variables were examined in 3 groups: step width, preferred walking speed, and stride length; angular displacement at the knee and angular displacement at the ankle; and peak knee flexion velocity and peak knee extension velocity. A multivariate approach with follow-up univariate tests was used.
Results: Based on BMI, there was a significant effect for step width, preferred walking speed, and stride length (F[3, 16]=3.47, P=0.04). Univariate tests were significant for preferred walking speed and stride length (both P<0.03). Overweight by BMI participants had a lower preferred walking speed (1.31±0.16 m/s vs. 1.53±0.18 m/s) and shorter stride length (1.23±0.11 m vs. 1.38±0.11 m). Based on body fat percentage, there was a significant effect for peak knee flexion velocity and peak knee extension velocity (F[2, 19]=4.08, P=0.03). Overweight by body fat participants had lower peak knee flexion velocity (295.99±21.32 o/s vs. 320.25±27.67 o/s; P=0.04).
Conclusion: Gait alterations were found for both methods of classifying obesity. However, the alterations were different for each method. The method of determining obesity appears to affect where gait alterations are found.

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apglave@shsu.edu