The effect of obesity on Gait using traditional and non-linear dynamic measures

  • Maha H. Hindi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Obesity poses a significant burden on the musculoskeletal system, where obese individuals are reported to have greater musculoskeletal loading and higher abnormally distributed joint loads, decreased range of motion and mobility, modification of the gait patterns and overall changes in the absolute and relative energy expenditures for any given activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of obesity on the dynamic plantar pressure distribution during walking for obese and non-obese college students using traditional and non-traditional approaches for assessment. A Tekscan multisensory portable gait assessment system was used to collect the gait data. 52 overweight/obese subjects and 64 non-obese subjects walked across the plate at preferred speeds. T-test and Mann Whitney U test were used for analysis, where significance was defined as p < 0.05. Obese subjects demonstrated higher mean plantar pressure, maximum force and lateral foot angle as compared to non-obese subjects. The peak plantar pressures under the forefoot region were significantly higher as compared to other foot regions, and were significantly higher for obese subjects. Furthermore, the nonlinear algorithm using sample entropy for the spatial pressure distribution showed significant difference between both groups in the left foot. In contrast, the temporal sample entropy did not show any significant difference. In conclusion, this study has examined the dynamic plantar pressure distribution of overweight/obese subjects comprehensively using traditional and nontraditional approaches. Obese subjects showed higher ground force reaction, larger foot axis angle and differences on dynamic plantar pressures compared to the non-obese subjects. The identification of population-specific biomechanical profiles associated with obesity can provide effective evidence-based means for prescribing strategies/recommendations towards disease prevention and overall healthier life style changes.
Date of AwardApr 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorKinda Khalaf (Supervisor)


  • Obesity
  • biomechanics
  • plantar pressure distribution
  • temporal /spatial sample entropy.

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