Multifractal Analysis Differentiates Postural Sway in Obese and Nonobese Children

in Motor Control
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Multifractal analyses have been used in recent years as a way of studying balance, with the goal of understanding the patterns of movement of the center of pressure at different spatial scales. A multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis was used to compare obese and nonobese children to investigate the cause of previously demonstrated deficiencies in balance for obese children. Twenty-two children (11 obese and 11 nonobese), aged 8–15 years, performed 30-s trials of bilateral static balance on a plantar pressure distribution measuring device. Both the obese and nonobese groups demonstrated greater persistence for small fluctuations, but the effect was greater in the obese group. This was particularly evident with the eyes closed, where significant differences between the obese and nonobese were observed for small fluctuations. These results demonstrate that balance deficiencies in obese children may be the result of decreased proprioceptive abilities in obese children.

Fink is with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Nutrition, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Shultz is with the Kinesiology Department, Seattle University, Seattle, USA, and the School of Sport, Exercise, and Nutrition, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. D’Hondt is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. Lenoir is with the Dept. of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Hills is with School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Newnham, Tasmania.

Address author correspondence to Philip W. Fink at p.fink@massey.ac.nz.
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