Body weight is a strong predictor of postural stability

Gait Posture. 2007 Jun;26(1):32-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.07.005. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


Proper balance control is a key aspect of acitivities of daily living. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of body weight to predict balance stability. The balance stability of 59 male subjects with BMI ranging from 17.4 to 63.8kg/m(2) was assessed using a force platform. The subjects were tested with and without vision. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to determine the independent effect of body weight, age, body height and foot length on balance stability (i.e., mean speed of the center of foot pressure). With vision, the stepwise multiple regression revealed that body weight accounted for 52% of the variance of balance stability. The addition of age contributed a further 3% to explain balance control. Without vision, body weight accounted for 54% of the variance and the addition of age and body height added a further 8% and 1% to explain the total variance, respectively. The final model explained 63% of the variance. A decrease in balance stability is strongly correlated to an increase in body weight. This suggests that body weight may be an important risk factor for falling. Future studies should examine more closely the combined effect of aging and obesity on falling and injuries and the impact of obesity on the diverse range of activities of daily living.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Height / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology