Table of Contents
Volume 2014, Article ID 375909, 7 pages
Research Article

Weight Status and Differences in Mobility Performance, Pain Symptoms, and Physical Activity in Older, Knee Osteoarthritis Patients

1Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC), Abilene Christian University, Room 259, ACU Box 28084, Abilene, TX 79699-8084, USA
2The Ohio State University, Health and Exercise Science Room A36, 305 West 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3Capital University, Battelle Hall Room 305, 1 College and Main, Columbus, OH 43209, USA
4The Ohio State University, 145 Psychology Building, 1835 Neil Avenue Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
5The Ohio State University, 480 West 9th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
6Health and Exercise Science Department, Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7868, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA

Received 19 February 2014; Accepted 13 May 2014; Published 25 May 2014

Academic Editor: Burkhard Leeb

Copyright © 2014 Matthew J. Garver et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of functional disability among American adults. Obesity is a strong independent risk factor for OA. While research emphasizes the role of obesity in the OA-physical function relationship, the extent to which weight status impacts salient physical, health, and pain measures in older, knee OA patients is not well delineated. The primary aim of this study was to assess differences in mobility performance (stair climb and 400-meter walk), mobility-related self-efficacy, pain symptoms (WOMAC), and measures of accelerometer-determined physical activity (PA) as a function of weight status. Analysis of covariance was conducted to examine differences on the dependent variables. Obese class III patients were outperformed by their counterparts on nearly every measure of mobility, mobility-related self-efficacy, and the assessment of pain symptoms. These outcomes did not differ among other weight comparisons. Normal weight subjects outperformed classes I, II, and III counterparts on most measures of PA (engagement in moderate or greater PA and total weekly steps). Additionally, overweight participants outperformed obese class II participants and obese class I participants outperformed obese classes II and III participants on total weekly steps. Collectively, these findings underscore the meaningful differences observed in relevant OA outcomes as a function of increasing levels of body weight.