Effects of obesity on slip-induced fall risks among young male adults.
Wu X; Lockhart TE; Yeoh HT
J Biomech 2012 Apr; 45(6):1042-1047
Obesity is associated with structural and functional limitations with impairment of normal gait. Although falls have been identified as the most common cause of injuries in the obese, the mechanisms associated with increased fall risk among the obese population are still unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of gait adaptations of the obese individuals and its implication on risk of slip initiations as measured by friction demand characteristics. To exclude the aging and gender effects, a total of ten healthy young male adults participated in the study. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected using a three-dimensional motion analysis system and force plates while subjects were walking at their self-selected walking pace. Results indicated that young obese adults walked similarly as their lean counterparts except for exhibiting greater step width and higher transversal friction demand, suggesting that slip-induced fall risks are similar along the horizontal direction, but increased along the transversal direction under certain floor conditions.
Humans; Men; Women; Biomechanics; Accidents; Injuries; Weight-factors; Kinetics; Physical-fitness; Physical-exercise; Physiopathology; Behavior;
Author Keywords: Obesity; Gait; Locomotion; Falls; Slips
Thurmon E. Lockhart, Locomotion Research Laboratory, Grado Department of Industrial and System Engineering, 0118, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Journal of Biomechanics
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University