Is bodyweight affecting plantar pressure distribution in children? An observational study

Valerio Giustino, Antonio Palma, Kaltrina Feka, Angelo Iovane, Antonino Bianco, Masar Gjaka, Giuseppe Messina, Jessica Brusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study is twofold: Firstly, to investigate the plantar pressure distribution differences in children coming from 4 different weight categories and secondly to analyze the presence of sex-related plantar pressure distribution differences. Overall, 416 children, aged 7 to 12 years old were randomly selected from 6 different local schools, and voluntarily participated in the study. Two hundred twenty six of them were men, while 190 were women (mean age: 9.93±1.02 years; height: 1.39±0.8m; body mass: 37.76±10.34kg; BMI: 19.24±4.02kg/m2). Based on the body mass index (BMI) the sample was grouped in the following categories: Underweight (UW); normal weight (NW); overweight (OW), and obese (OB). Besides, the plantar load distribution parameters (total plantar load distribution and load distribution in forefoot and rearfoot) were assessed employing freeMed Maxi; Sensor Medica device. Shapiro-Wilk test was used to test the data distribution. Between-groups comparisons were conducted using Mann-Whitney U test, or using Kruskal-Wallis test associated with pairwise comparisons. There were significant differences in load distribution between weight categories, with (OW) and (NW) being significantly different with (O), P=.03 and P=.04, respectively. No significant differences were found on load distribution on the rearfoot and forefoot between categories. The sex effect, particularly among boys, revealed a different pattern of load distribution among (O) compared with other categories. This effect was not detected among women. Different profile of load distribution on the rearfoot and forefoot between boys and girls was found, with girls bearing significantly more weight in the right rearfoot compared with boys (P=.001). It can be concluded that the weight status of the children can affect the plantar load distribution, with obese category being different from (NW) and (OW). Additionally, the sex plays a role when it comes to the load distribution in different regions of the foot. Moreover, since the young age, due to growth and development process, is accompanied with anatomical foot changes which might be affected from numerous factors, assessing plantar pressure distribution in young children results to be a quite complicated matter.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalMEDICINE
Volume99
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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