What is the Impact of Excessive Body Mass on the Biomechanical Walking Characteristics in 7 to 11 Year Old Children

PhD Thesis


Cousins, Stephen D 2014. What is the Impact of Excessive Body Mass on the Biomechanical Walking Characteristics in 7 to 11 Year Old Children. PhD Thesis University of East London Health, Sports and Bioscience
AuthorsCousins, Stephen D
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

Childhood obesity is associated with multiple health co-morbidities and various
musculoskeletal disorders, affecting the lower limb and feet. Limited research has been
undertaken which quantifies the impact of obesity on the function of the paediatric foot
and lower limb. Furthermore, it is yet undetermined whether overweight children
display similar functional changes as their obese counterparts. The primary aim of this
research was to advance understanding on foot function and lower limb biomechanical
movement characteristics in children; analysing differences between obese, overweight
and normal weight children.
Having determined the reliability of the measurement protocols, 100 children were
recruited for assessment of body mass status and plantar foot loading. Following this, a
sub-group of 45 children were recruited and three-dimensional gait analysis was
undertaken. Plantar foot loading and lower limb temporal-spatial, kinematic and kinetic
gait characteristics were analysed during barefoot level walking. Multiple regression
was undertaken to determine relationships between body mass status, foot loading and
lower limb gait biomechanics.
Findings demonstrated that overweight and obese children displayed marked
differences in foot loading and lower limb gait biomechanics when compared to normal
weight children. The research identified that increased loading at the midfoot and 2nd-
5th metatarsals significantly predicted change in the kinematic and kinetic walking
parameters at the hip and ankle in overweight and obese children. These findings
provide evidence of an atypical biomechanical function of the foot and lower limb.
This work advances understanding on the implications of excessive body mass on the
functional characteristics of the paediatric foot and lower limb. This research identifies
for the first time, differences in foot loading and lower limb gait biomechanics in
overweight and obese children relative to those of normal weight. This work also
provides important information as to the use of plantar pressure assessment in
predicting change to the lower limb biomechanical movement characteristics of these
children. This work underpins the need for further longitudinal work that further
enhances our understanding on the consequences of excessive body mass on the foot
and lower limb musculoskeletal and locomotor systems in children.

Year2014
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.4427
Publication dates
PrintFeb 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Sep 2015
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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