Obesity, mechanical and strength relationships to postural control in adolescence

Adam C. King, John H. Challis, Cynthia Bartok, F. Aileen Costigan, Karl M. Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There is preliminary evidence that BMI is positively correlated with movement variability of standing posture. However, this negative effect of obesity on postural control may be mediated by the change in other body scale variables (e.g., mechanical and fitness) that also occur with changes in BMI. This study investigated the influence of selected body scale (height, body mass, BMI), body composition (body fat percentage), mechanical (moment of inertia - MI) and strength (S) variables as predictors of the control of postural motion in adolescents. 125 healthy adolescents (65 boys, 60 girls) with a wide range of BMI (13.8-31.0kg/m 2) performed a battery of tests that assessed body composition, anthropometry, muscular strength and postural control. Multiple measures of postural motion variability were derived for analysis with body scale, mechanical and lower extremity strength variables separately for boys and girls. BMI, height and body mass, considered both separately and collectively, were poor and/or inconsistent predictors of variability in all three posture tasks. However, the ratio of lower extremity strength to whole body moment of inertia showed the highest positive correlation to most postural variability measures in both boys and girls and these effects were strongest in the less stable tasks of single leg standing and recovery of stance. Our findings support the hypothesis that diminished lower extremity strength to mechanical constraint ratio compromises the robustness of the strength to body scale relation in movement and postural control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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