Biomechanical gait analysis in obese men

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1991 Dec;72(13):1065-70.


The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the kinematic components of the walking gait of obese men to those of nonobese men. Self-paced walking trials of 12 obese volunteers, ranging in age from 30 to 47 years and in obesity from 70% to 99% above ideal body weight, were recorded via cinematography. The following findings were recorded: (1) obese persons (1.09m/sec) walk significantly (p less than .001) slower than nonobese subjects (1.64m/sec); (2) obese persons take significantly (p less than .001) shorter strides (1.25m vs 1.67m) and exhibit step widths (.16m) twice those of nonobese persons (.08m); (3) mean hip abduction angles of the obese are significantly (p less than .001) different at some events of the walking cycle from the hip angles of nonobese persons; (4) mean hip and knee flexion angles are not significantly different for obese and nonobese subjects; and (5) obese individuals demonstrate a walking gait pattern with significantly greater (p less than .001) mean magnitude of ankle dorsiflexion and lesser (p less than .001) mean magnitude of ankle plantar flexion than nonobese subjects throughout the walking cycle. It is concluded that obese individuals display a walking gait that follows a normal pattern but some of the temporal and angular components of their gait are different from those of nonobese persons mainly because of the excessive adipose tissue inside their thighs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology*