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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jun;92(6):461-7; quiz 468-71. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31828cd59d.

Influence of dual-task constraints on whole-body organization during walking in children who are overweight and obese.

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  • 1Department of Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, Queens College, The City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine the influence of dual-task constraints on movement and force control in children who are overweight and obese.


Twelve children who are overweight and obese (4-12 yrs old) and 12 age-matched children with normal weight participated. The children walked along a path at a self-selected pace under two conditions: walking carrying nothing (baseline condition) and walking while carrying a box (dual-task condition).


The overweight/obese group showed less normalized hand vertical motion and shoulder range of motion compared with the control group (all P's < 0.05). However, in comparison with the baseline condition, the overweight/obese group decreased gait velocity and stride length and increased step width, lateral hand movement, lateral spine movement, and medial/lateral ground reaction force during the dual-task condition (all P's < 0.05).


These findings indicate that children who are overweight and obese modify lateral movements and force organization when faced with dual-task constraints, which may influence their ability to maintain safety when dual tasking is required.

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