gait initiation

Obesity Affect Balance and Gait Pattern

by / 0 Comments / 8 View / December 14, 2014

Center of pressure displacements during gait initiation in individuals with obesity

Obesity is known to affect balance and gait pattern increasing the risk of fall and injury as compared to the lean population. Such risk is  particularly high during postural transitions. Gait initiation (GI) is a transient procedure between static upright posture and steady-state  locomotion, which includes anticipatory antero-posterior and lateral movements. GI requires propulsion and balance control. The aim of this study was to characterise quantitatively the strategy of obese subjects during GI using parameters obtained by the Center of Pressure (CoP) track.
20 obese individuals and 15 age-matched healthy subjects were tested using a force platform during the initiation trials. CoP plots were divided  in different phases, which identified the anticipatory postural adjustments (APA1,APA2) and a movement phase (LOC). Duration, length and  velocity of the CoP trace in these phases were calculated and compared.
Results and discussion:
The results show that the main characteristic of GI in obese participants is represented by a higher excursion in medio-lateral direction. This  condition lead to longer APA length and duration, which are statistical significant during APA2 when compared to control subjects. We also  found longer duration of APA1 and LOC phases. In terms of velocity, most of the phases were characterised by a reduced CoP velocity in antero-posterior direction and faster movement in medio-lateral direction as compared to the control group.
Our findings provide novel evidence in GI in obese subjects that may serve for developing exercise programs aimed at specifically improving  balance in both the antero-posterior and lateral directions. Such programs together with weight management may be beneficial for improving  stability during postural transitions and reducing risk off all in this population.

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