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

Downloads: 0
Views: 35


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.


Astephen JLK, Deluzio J. Changes in frontal plane dynamics and the loading response phase of the gait cycle are characteristic of severe knee osteoarthritis application of a multidimensional analysis technique. Clin Biomech. 2005; 20(2):209-17. PMid:15621327.

Baliunas AJD, Hurwitz E, Ryals AB, Karrar A, Case JP, Block JA, Andriacchi TP. Increased knee joint loads during walking are present in subjects with knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2002; 10(7):573-9. PMid:12127838.

Birrell SA, Hooper RH, Haslam RA. The effect of military load carriage on ground reaction forces. Gait Posture. 2007; 26(4):611-4. PMid:17337189.

Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Vigilância de Doenças e Agravos não Transmissíveis e Promoção da Saúde. Vigitel Brasil 2016: vigilância de fatores de risco e proteção para doenças crônicas por inquérito telefônico [internet]. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2017. 160 p. [cited 2018 Dez 09]. Available from:

Browning RC, Kram R. Effects of obesity on the biomechanics of walking at different speeds. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007; 39(9):1632-41. PMid:17805097.

Cesari M, Kritchevsky SB, Penninx BWHJ, Nicklas BJ, Simonsick EM, Newman AB, Tylavsky FA, Brach JS, Satterfield S, Bauer DC, Visser M, Rubin SM, Harris TB, Pahor M. Prognostic value of usual gait speed in well-functioning older people -results from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005; 53(10):1675-80. PMid:16181165.

Colné P, Frelut ML, Peres G, Thoumie P. Postural control in obese adolescents assessed by limits of stability and gait initiation. Gait Posture. 2008; 28(1):164-69. PMid:18191568.

Darnton-Hill I, Nishida C, James WP. Alife course approach to diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Public Health Nutr. 2004; 7(1A):101-21. PMid:14972056.

DeVita P, Hortobagyi T. Obesity is not associated with increased knee joint torque and power during level walking. J Biomech. 2003; 36(9):1355-62. PMid:12893044.

Foti T, Davids JR, Bagley A. A biomechanical analysis of gait during pregnancy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2000; 82(5):625-32. PMid:10819273.

Gushue DL, Houck J, Lerner AL. Effects of childhood obesity on three-dimensional knee joint biomechanics during walking. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005; 25(6):763-68. PMid:16294133.

Hall DMB, Cole TJ. What use is the BMI. Arch Dis Child. 2006; 91(4):283-6. PMid:16551784.

Helwig NE, Hong S, Hsiao-Wecksler ET, Polk JD. Methods to temporally align gait cycle data. J Biomech. 2011; 44(3):561-6. PMid:20887992.

Imayama I, Alfano CM, Kong A, Foster-Schubert KE, Bain CE, Xiao L, Duggan C, Wang CY, Campbell KL, Blackburn GL, McTiernan A. Dietary weight loss and exercise interventions effects on quality of life in overweight/obese postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011; 8(1):118. PMid:22026966.

Jolliffe IT. Principal component analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Springer; 2002.

Kinoshita H. Effects of different loads and carrying systems on selected biomechanical parameters describing walking gait. Ergonomics. 1985; 28(9):1347-62. PMid:4065090.

Lai PPK, Leung AK, Li AN, Zhang M. Three-dimensional gait analysis of obese adults. Clin Biomech. 2008; 23:(4 Suppl 1):S2-6.

McGraw B, McClenaghan BA, Williams HG, Dickerson J, Ward DS. Gait and postural stability in obese and non obese prepubertal boys. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000; 81(4):484-9. PMid:10768540.

McKean KA, Landry SC, Hubley-Kozey CL, Dunbar MJ, Stanish WD, Deluzio KJ. Gender differences exist in osteoarthritic gait. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2007; 22(4):400-9. PMid:17239509.

McMillan AG, Pulver AME, Collier DN, Williams DSB. Sagittal and frontal plane joint mechanics throughout the stance phase of walking in adolescents who are obese. Gait Posture. 2010; 32(2):263-8. PMid:20573511.

Messier SP, Davies AB, Moore DT, Davis SE, Pack RJ, Kazmar SC. Severe obesity: Effects on foot mechanics during walking. Foot Ankle Int. 1994; 15(1):29-34. PMid:7981793.

Messier SP, Ettinger WH Jr, Doyle TE, Morgan T, James M, O’Toole M, Burns R. Obesity: Effects on gait in an osteoarthritic population. J Appl Biomech. 1996; 12(2):161-72.

Messier SP, Gutekunst DJ, Davis C, DeVita P. Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2005; 52(7):2026-32. PMid:15986358.

Muniz AMS, Liu H, Lyons KE, Pahwa R, Liu W, Nadal J. Quantitative evaluation of the effects of subthalamic stimulation on gait in Parkinson’s Disease patients using Principal Component Analysis. Int J Neurosci. 2010; 120(9):609-16. PMid:20707636.

Muniz AMS, Nadal J. Application of principal component analysis in vertical ground reaction force to discriminate normal and abnormal gait. Gait Posture. 2009; 29(1):31-5. PMid:18640040.

Romkes J, Schweizer K. Immediate effects of unilateral restricted ankle motion on gait kinematics in healthy subjects. Gait Posture. 2015; 41(3):835-40. PMid:25800648.

Spyropoulos P, Pisciotta JC, Pavlou KN, Cairns MA, Simon SR. Biomechanics gait analysis in obese men. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1991; 72(13):1065-70. PMid:1741658.

Tingley M, Wilson C, Biden E, Knight WR. An index to quantify normality of gait in young children. Gait Posture. 2002; 16(2):149-58. PMid:12297256.

World Health Organization. What are overweight and obesity? [internet]. Geneva: WHO; 2015. [cited 2016 Out 5]. Avaliable from:

O’Connor CM, Thorpe SK, O’Malley MJ, Vaughan CL. Automatic detection of gait events using kinematic data. Gait Posture. 2007; 25(3):469-74. PMid:16876414.

Landry SC, McKean KA, Hubley-Kozey CL, Stanish WD, Deluzio KJ. Knee biomechanics of moderate OA patients measured during gait at a self-selected and fast walking speed. 

J Biomech. 2007; 40(8):1754-61. PMid:17084845.

Whitlock G, Lewington S, Sherliker P, Clarke R, Emberson J, Halsey J, Qizilbash N, Collins R, Peto R. Prospective Studies Collaboration: Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009; 373(9669):1083-96.

5bef0c900e8825f81dc2d1af rbejournal Articles
Links & Downloads

Res. Biomed. Eng.

Share this page
Page Sections