Biomechanical gait analysis in obese men

P. Spyropoulos, J. C. Pisciotta, K. N. Pavlou, M. A. Cairns, S. R. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


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<.001) slower than nonobese subjects (1.64m/sec); (2) obese persons take significantly (p<.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<.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<.001) mean magnitude of ankle dorsiflexion and lesser (p<.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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1070
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Gait
  • Locomotion
  • Obesity


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