Table of Contents
Physiology Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 821482, 8 pages
Research Article

Arch Height Mediation of Obesity-Related Walking in Adults: Contributors to Physical Activity Limitations

1Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
3Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, 1 Boston Medical Center Place, Boston, MA 02118, USA
4Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience, Boston University, 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA
5Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Boston University, 64 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA
6Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
7Department of Anthropology, Boston University, 232 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Received 9 October 2014; Accepted 21 November 2014; Published 16 December 2014

Academic Editor: Beat Knechtle

Copyright © 2014 Simone V. Gill 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.


Walking and foot arch structure have risk-increasing effects that contribute to decreased physical activity in adults with overweight and obese body mass index (BMI) scores. However, it is unknown whether both excessive weight and arch height influence walking compared to the effects of excessive weight or arch height alone. The purpose of this study was to investigate if arch height mediates obesity-related walking characteristics among adults with different BMI classifications. Spatiotemporal walking kinematics and dynamic plantar pressure were collected as adults with normal , overweight , and obese BMI scores walked at their preferred speed. Digital footprints created with plantar pressure data were used to calculate a measure of arch height, the Chippaux-Smirak Index (CSI). The results showed that obese adults had lower arches than normal weight adults . Arch height was related to velocity, double limb support time, stance time, step length, and foot rotation (all Ps < 0.05). Overweight participants with lower arches had lower velocities and higher double limb support times (all Ps < 0.05). The results have implications for aiding an increase in physical activity for overweight adults via intervening in adults’ arch height.