The paediatric flat foot and general anthropometry in 140 Australian school children aged 7 - 10 years

J Foot Ankle Res. 2011 Apr 22;4(1):12. doi: 10.1186/1757-1146-4-12.


Background: Many studies have found a positive relationship between increased body weight and flat foot posture in children.

Methods: From a study population of 140 children aged seven to 10 years, a sample of 31 children with flat feet was identified by screening with the FPI-6. Basic anthropometric measures were compared between subjects with and without flat feet as designated.

Results: The results of this study, in contrast to many others, question the association of flat feet and heavy children. A significant relationship between foot posture and weight (FPI (L) r = -0.186 (p < 0.05), FPI(R) r = -0.194 (p < 0.05), waist girth (FPI (L) r = -0.213 (p < 0.05), FPI(R) r = -0.228 (p < 0.01) and BMI (FPI (L) r = -0.243 (p < 0.01), FPI(R) r = -0.263 (p < 0.01) was identified, but was both weak and inverse.

Conclusions: This study presents results which conflict with those of many previous investigations addressing the relationship between children's weight and foot posture. In contrast to previous studies, the implication of these results is that heavy children have less flat feet. Further investigation is warranted using a standardized approach to assessment and a larger sample of children to test this apparent contradiction.