Childhood Obesity and Incorrect Body Posture: Impact on Physical Activity and the Therapeutic Role of Exercise

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Dec 13;19(24):16728. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192416728.


Obesity is associated with various dysfunctions of the organism, including musculoskeletal problems. In this narrative review, we aim to consider postural problems in children and adolescents with obesity, focusing on the relationship with its negative impact on physical activity, and to discuss the role of exercise as a therapeutic approach. The body reacts to excess weight by changing its normal balance, and the somatosensory system of children with obesity is forced to make major adjustments to compensate for postural problems. These adaptations become more difficult and tiring if activities that require continuous postural changes and multi-tasking are engaged in. Children with obesity have less body control and functional ability due to the excess fat mass, which reduces their ability to perform motor skills and take part in physical activity. Appropriate early interventions for the management of musculoskeletal problems are needed to ensure healthy growth and to prevent comorbidities in childhood and adulthood. Prevention programs must be based not only on the reduction of body weight but also on the definition of correct postural habits from an early age. It is equally important to provide correct information on the types and doses of physical activity that can help prevent these problems.

Keywords: adolescents; body posture; children; exercise; musculoskeletal complication; obesity; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity* / therapy
  • Posture

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.