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Excessive Weight Bearing Compromises Foot Structure and Function Across the Lifespan

Chapter


Abstract


  • The base of support for the musculoskeletal system during most physical activities is the feet. Feet are highly unique and flexible structures, which are required to perform extremely diverse functions, particularly during weight-bearing tasks. Although feet that are structurally sound can usually perform tasks of daily living with ease, deviations from normal foot structure or alignment can compromise foot function and, in turn, cause discomfort or pain. Extensive research has confirmed that obesity negatively affects foot structure and function. Obese individuals have been found to have broader, thicker and flatter feet; generate significantly higher dynamic plantar pressures; and alter their foot mechanics during walking relative to their non-overweight counterparts. The need for overweight and obese individuals to bear excess body mass has also been associated with the development of musculoskeletal pain and discomfort in the feet, which can be severe enough to limit these individuals from participating in activities of daily living, work and recreation. As this can perpetuate the cycle of obesity, the compromised foot structure of obese individuals is deemed a major health issue. In this chapter, we review the effects of bearing excessive body mass on foot structure and function across a lifespan and, where possible, highlight the impact of this excessive weight bearing on the ability of individuals to perform activities of daily living. Based on the studies reviewed we recommend that evidence-based interventions be designed to reduce excess fat mass in overweight and obese individuals, focussing on non-weight bearing activities to relieve loading of their foot structures and, in turn, improve the quality of life of these individuals.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Edition


Citation


  • Steele, J. R., Riddiford-Harland, D. L., & Mickle, K. J. (2015). Excessive Weight Bearing Compromises Foot Structure and Function Across the Lifespan. In Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials (Vol. 16, pp. 149-179). doi:10.1007/8415_2014_175

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85018588230

Web Of Science Accession Number


Book Title


  • Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

Start Page


  • 149

End Page


  • 179

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • The base of support for the musculoskeletal system during most physical activities is the feet. Feet are highly unique and flexible structures, which are required to perform extremely diverse functions, particularly during weight-bearing tasks. Although feet that are structurally sound can usually perform tasks of daily living with ease, deviations from normal foot structure or alignment can compromise foot function and, in turn, cause discomfort or pain. Extensive research has confirmed that obesity negatively affects foot structure and function. Obese individuals have been found to have broader, thicker and flatter feet; generate significantly higher dynamic plantar pressures; and alter their foot mechanics during walking relative to their non-overweight counterparts. The need for overweight and obese individuals to bear excess body mass has also been associated with the development of musculoskeletal pain and discomfort in the feet, which can be severe enough to limit these individuals from participating in activities of daily living, work and recreation. As this can perpetuate the cycle of obesity, the compromised foot structure of obese individuals is deemed a major health issue. In this chapter, we review the effects of bearing excessive body mass on foot structure and function across a lifespan and, where possible, highlight the impact of this excessive weight bearing on the ability of individuals to perform activities of daily living. Based on the studies reviewed we recommend that evidence-based interventions be designed to reduce excess fat mass in overweight and obese individuals, focussing on non-weight bearing activities to relieve loading of their foot structures and, in turn, improve the quality of life of these individuals.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Edition


Citation


  • Steele, J. R., Riddiford-Harland, D. L., & Mickle, K. J. (2015). Excessive Weight Bearing Compromises Foot Structure and Function Across the Lifespan. In Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials (Vol. 16, pp. 149-179). doi:10.1007/8415_2014_175

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85018588230

Web Of Science Accession Number


Book Title


  • Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

Start Page


  • 149

End Page


  • 179

Place Of Publication