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Association of Obesity and Lower Limb Muscle Strength and Power with Balance Recovery from a Forward Leaning Position

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abstract
This study measured the ability of older adults to recover balance when released from a forward leaning position. This forward leaning assessment was used as a surrogate for a balance recovery from a fall. The maximal body lean angle from which the subject could recover their balance was referred to as LeanMax. The primary aim was to assess the effects of obesity on LeanMax in a group of older adults (mean age = 70.6 ± 4.6 yrs). The second aim was to determine whether lower limb muscle strength or power were associated with the LeanMax. Ten obese subjects (mean BMI = 33.3 ± 2.6kg•m-2, 4 female) and 6 non-obese subjects (mean BMI = 25.1 ± 2.0 kg•m-2, 3 female) were recruited. Each subject completed the forward lean assessment as well lower limb muscle strength (1 repetition maximum – 1RM) and power tests (peak power against a resistance of 70% 1RM) using Keiser Pneumatic Leg Extension and Leg Press machines. There was no significant difference (p = .422) in LeanMax between the non-obese (mean = 15.4 ± 4.4°) and obese subjects (17.2 ± 4.2°). When mass was added to the non-obese subjects to simulate obesity, there was a trend (p = .062) for LeanMax to be reduced. There was also a trend (p =.062) for the simulated obese group to have a lower LeanMax (12.1 ± 4.5°) than the obese subjects (17.1 ± 3.7°) to whom they were equated for BMI and gender. Lower limb muscle strength (r = .575, p = .020) and power (r = .548, p = .028) were both significantly correlated with LeanMax when measured using the Leg Press machine. The number of minutes spent doing physical activity of a moderate or greater intensity (≥3 METs) was also positively associated with LeanMax (r = .577, p = .019). In summary, obesity was not associated with reduced ability to recover balance from a forward leaning position but additional mass in itself showed a trend to reduce LeanMax. Based on our findings, weight loss is not indicated for improving balance recovery, however, physical activities of a moderate or greater intensity and particularly those that promote lower limb strength and balance should be promoted in older populations.
subject
Falls
Aging
Balance
contributor
Haakonssen, Eric Christoph (author)
Berry, Michael J. (committee chair)
Miller, Gary D. (committee member)
Miller, Michael E. (committee member)
Marsh, Anthony P. (committee member)
date
2010-05-07T19:04:10Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:57:19Z (accessioned)
2010-05-07T19:04:10Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:57:19Z (available)
2010-05-07T19:04:10Z (issued)
degree
Health & Exercise Science (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14685 (uri)
language
en_US (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
rights
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)
title
Association of Obesity and Lower Limb Muscle Strength and Power with Balance Recovery from a Forward Leaning Position
type
Thesis

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