The Influence of Body Fat Distribution on Postural Balance and Muscle Quality in Women Aged 60 Years and Over

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University of Brasilia
  • 2 Estácio University Center of Brasilia
  • 3 Federal Institute of Triângulo Mineiro
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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of body fat distribution on postural balance and lower-limb muscle quality in women aged 60 years and over. Two hundred and twenty-two volunteers took part in this cross-sectional analysis. Participants underwent body fat distribution assessment using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and were classified as nonobese, gynoid obese, or android obese. Postural balance was assessed during quiet standing, with and without vision restriction, using a force platform. Specific torque was defined as the ratio of knee extensors peak torque (evaluated by an isokinetic dynamometer) to the lean mass of the same limb (evaluated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry). Compared with nonobese participants, both obese groups exhibited higher range of postural sway along the anteroposterior and mediolateral axes (P < .05). However, there were no differences between participants with gynoid and android obesity. The android obese group exhibited greater speed of postural sway in the condition without vision restriction than both nonobese (P = .040) and gynoid obese (P = .004) groups. Regarding muscle quality, only participants with gynoid obesity (P = .004) presented lower specific torque than their nonobese peers. These results may be clinically useful when designing falls prevention exercises targeting the obese population.

Neri, de David, and Lima are with the Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil. Neri is also with the Estácio University Center of Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil. Pereira is with the Federal Institute of Triângulo Mineiro, Paracatu, Brazil.

Neri (silvia_grn@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.
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