The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of body mass index (BMI) and fat mass on balance force platform measurements in older adults. The sample consisted of 257 participants who were stratified into four groups by BMI: low weight, normal weight, pre-obesity and obesity. For fat mass variables, older individuals were classified into low and high-fat mass. All groups investigated performed three trials of one-legged stance balance on a force platform. Center of pressure (COP) domain parameters were computed from the mean across trials. Analysis of variance results revealed no significant interactions for groups and sexes for all COP parameters. Comparable balance results were found for BMI and fat groups for all COP parameters. A statistical effect (P < 0.05) was only reported for sex differences for COP parameters, regardless of BMI and fat mass variables. Overall, women presented better balance than men. In conclusion, BMI and fat mass do not seem to influence the balance of older adults during a one-leg stance task.
Keywords: Aging; Biomechanics; Body adiposity; Obesity; Postural control.