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  • Author: Jeffrey C. Cowley x
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Jeffrey C. Cowley, Steven T. McCaw, Kelly R. Laurson and Michael R. Torry

Purpose: Children who are overweight typically do not perform motor skills as well as normal-weight peers. This study examined whether vertical jump kinetics and kinematics of children who are overweight differ from nonoverweight peers. Methods: Thirty-nine children completed maximum-effort countermovement vertical jumps. Motion capture was used to complete lower extremity kinematic and kinetic analyses. Results: The overweight group (body mass index ≥ 85th percentile; N = 11; age = 6.5 [1.6] y) jumped lower relative to their mass (0.381 cm/kg lower; P < .001) than normal-weight peers (N = 28; age = 6.4 [1.7] y). Compared with children who are normal weight, children who were overweight exhibited a shallower countermovement (knee: 12° less flexion, P = .02; hip: 10° less flexion, P = .045), lower hip torque (0.06 N·m/kg lower, P = .01) and hip work (40% less work, P = .01), and earlier peak joint angular velocities (knee: 9 ms earlier, P = .001; hip: 14 ms earlier, P = .004). Conclusion: Children who are overweight do not achieve optimal jumping mechanics and exhibit jumping characteristics of an earlier developmental stage compared with their peers. Interventions should help children who are overweight learn to execute a proper countermovement.