The Effect of Gender on Foot Anthropometrics in Older People

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Some questions remain regarding the anthropometric differences between the feet of young men and women, but the gap is much greater when dealing with older adults. No studies were found concerning these differences in an exclusively older adult population, which makes it difficult to manufacture shoes based on the specific anthropometric measurements of the older adult population and according to gender differences.

Objective:

To identify differences between the anthropometric foot variables of older men and women.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Participants:

154 older women (69.0 ± 6.8 y) and 131 older men (69.0 ± 6.5 y).

Main Outcome Measures:

The foot evaluations comprised the variables of width, perimeter, height, length, 1st and 5th metatarsophalangeal angles, the Arch Index (AI), and the Foot Posture Index (FPI). A data analysis was performed using t test and a post hoc power analysis.

Results:

Women showed significantly higher values for the width and perimeter of the toes, width of the metatarsal heads, and width of the heel and presented significantly lower values for the height of the dorsal foot after normalization of the data to foot length. The 1st and 5 th metatarsophalangeal angles were smaller in the men. There were no differences between men and women with respect to AI and FPI.

Conclusions:

Overall, the current study shows evidence of differences between some of the anthropometric foot variables of older men and women that must be taken into account for the manufacture of shoes for older adults.

The authors are with the Dept of Physiotherapy, Federal University of São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil.