Research on Biomedical Engineering
Research on Biomedical Engineering
Original article

Biomechanical alterations of gait on overweight subjects

Fabiana Rodrigues Silva, Adriane Mara de Souza Muniz, Lucenildo Silva Cerqueira, Jurandir Nadal

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Introduction: Obesity is a major global public health issue and approximately half of the population is classified as overweight. Many studies have investigated gait modification in obese people; however, no research has been carried out in overweight subject´s gait influence. Methods: The goal of this study was to identify biomechanical changes on gait in overweight subjects by the application of principal component analysis (PCA). Two groups of adults participated of this study: overweight (n = 9; 25.0 < Body Mass Index < 29.9 kg/m2), and normal-weight (n = 15; 20.0 < Body Mass Index < 24.9 kg/m2. Three-dimensional kinematics of the lower limb and ground reaction forces (GRF) were recorded during gait. PCA was performed on data. Results: PCA evidenced statistical differences at the first principal component (PC) of the sagittal ankle movement, anteroposterior and mediolateral GRF, as well as at the third PC of the sagittal hip movement and mediolateral GRF. Overweight subjects walked with reduced ankle plantarflexion at toe-off and reduced hip flexion at the heel strike and at mid swing, as well as a reduced hip extension during push off. Additionally, increased anteroposterior and mediolateral GRF on overweight subjects were observed. Conclusion: overweight individuals might adjust their gait characteristics in response to their increased weight to reduce overload lower limbs joints. These gait modifications pointed to a possible increase in the risk of musculoskeletal pathology in this population.


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