Footprint-based estimates of arch structure are confounded by body composition in adults

Wearing, Scott C., Grigg, Nicole L., Lau, Hin C., & Smeathers, James E. (2012) Footprint-based estimates of arch structure are confounded by body composition in adults. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 30(8), pp. 1351-1354.

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Previous research employing indirect measures of arch structure, such as those derived from footprints, have indicated that obesity results in a “flatter” foot type. In the absence of radiographic measures, however, definitive conclusions regarding the osseous alignment of the foot cannot be made. We determined the effect of body mass index (BMI) on radiographic and footprint‐based measures of arch structure. The research was a cross‐sectional study in which radiographic and footprint‐based measures of foot structure were made in 30 subjects (10 males, 20 female) in addition to standard anthropometric measures of height, weight, and BMI. Multiple (univariate) regression analysis demonstrated that both BMI ( β  = 0.39, t 26  = 2.12, p  = 0.04) and radiographic arch alignment ( β  = 0.51, t 26  = 3.32, p  < 0.01) were significant predictors of footprint‐based measures of arch height after controlling for all variables in the model ( R 2  = 0.59, F 3,26  = 12.3, p  < 0.01). In contrast, radiographic arch alignment was not significantly associated with BMI ( β  = −0.03, t 26  = −0.13, p  = 0.89) when Arch Index and age were held constant ( R 2  = 0.52, F 3,26  = 9.3, p  < 0.01). Adult obesity does not influence osseous alignment of the medial longitudinal arch, but selectively distorts footprint‐based measures of arch structure. Footprint‐based measures of arch structure should be interpreted with caution when comparing groups of varying body composition.

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ID Code: 60339
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information:
Keywords: medial longitudinal arch, flat foot, FEET, Obesity - physiopathology, clinical measurement, obesity, OVERWEIGHT, FLAT, body mass index, PLANTAR PRESSURE, ACCURACY, Anthropometry - methods, Obesity - radiography, FOOT STRUCTURE, Foot - radiography, OBESE CHILDREN, WALKING, ORTHOPEDICS, FAT, Flatfoot - radiography
DOI: 10.1002/jor.22058
ISSN: 0736-0266
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Podiatry (110318)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Biomechanics (110601)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2013 04:34
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2014 03:04

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