Three-dimensional gait analysis of obese adults

Peggy P.K. Lai, Kam Lun Leung, Agnes N.M. Li, Ming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Obesity has been clinically associated with musculoskeletal disorders. However, the findings were mainly focused on the analysis in the sagittal plane. The objectives of this study were to investigate the three-dimensional gait characteristics of Chinese obese adults and to compare the results with normal subjects. Methods: Fourteen obese subjects, mean age 35.4 (8.8) years, eight females and six males, with body mass index 33.06 (4.2) kg/m2and 14 non-obese subjects, mean age 27.6 (8.6) years, eight females and six males, with body mass index 21.33 (1.5) kg/m2participated in this study. All subjects did not have current or past neurological or cardiovascular illness, orthopaedic abnormality, or pain which might affect gait. The kinematics and kinetics data of all subjects were recorded during their self-selected walking speed with a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Findings: The obese group walked slower and had a shorter stride length. They also spent more time on stance phase and double support in walking. Greater hip adduction was shown in the obese group during terminal stance and pre-swing. The maximum knee adduction angles of the obese group in both stance and swing phases were significantly higher. The ankle eversion angle of the obese group was significantly higher from mid stance to pre-swing. There were reduction of peak ankle plantar flexor moment, and increase of ankle inversion moment. Interpretation: There were some significant differences in temporal-spatial, joint motion and joint moment data between the obese and the non-obese participants. The obese individuals might adjust their gait characteristics in response to their heavy bodies to reduce the moment about the knee and the energy expenditure per unit time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue numberSUPLL.1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2008


  • Gait
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Obese
  • Three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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