Springer Nature

The Impact of Excessive Body Weight and Foot Pronation on Running Kinetics: A Cross-Sectional Study

Posted on 2023-12-07 - 04:40
Abstract Background Running exercise is an effective means to enhance cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition. Besides these health benefits, running is also associated with musculoskeletal injuries that can be more prevalent in individuals with excessive body weight. Little is known regarding the specific effects of overweight and foot pronation on ground reaction force distribution during running. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effects of overweight/obesity and foot pronation on running kinetics. Methods Eighty-four young adults were allocated to four experimental groups: non-excessive body weight/non-pronated feet; non-excessive body weight/pronated feet; overweight or obesity/ non-pronated feet and overweight or obesity/pronated feet. Biomechanical testing included participants to run at ~ 3.2 m/s over an 18-m walkway with an embedded force plate at its midpoint. Three-dimensional ground reaction forces were recorded and normalized to body mass to evaluate running kinetics from 20 running trials. Test–re-test reliability for running speed data demonstrated ICC > 0.94 for each group and in total. Results The results indicated significantly lower vertical impact peak forces (p = 0.001, effect size = 0.12), shorter time to reach the vertical impact peak (p = 0.006, effect size = 0.08) and reduced vertical loading rate (p = 0.0007, effect size = 0.13) in individuals with excessive body weight (overweight or obesity/non-pronated feet group and overweight or obesity/pronated feet) compared with individuals non-excessive body weight (non-excessive body weight/non-pronated feet and non-excessive body weight/pronated feet). Moreover, the excessive body weight groups presented lower peak braking (p = 0.01, effect size = 0.06) and propulsion forces (p = 0.003, effect size = 0.09), lower medio-lateral loading rate (p = 0.0009, effect size = 0.12), and greater free moments (p = 0.01, effect size = 0.07) when compared to the non-overweight groups. Moreover, a significant body mass by foot pronation interaction was found for peak medio-lateral loading rate. Non-excessive body weight/pronated feet, excessive body weight/non-pronated feet and excessive body weight/pronation groups presented lower medio-lateral loading rates compared to non-excessive body weight/non-pronated feet (p = 0.0001, effect size = 0.13). Conclusions Our results suggest that excessive body weight has an impact on ground reaction forces during running. We particularly noted an increase in medio-lateral and torsional forces during the stance phase. Individuals with excessive body weight appear to adapt their running patterns in an effort to attenuate early vertical impact loading.


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