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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2006;1(1):42-9.

Upper and lower limb functionality: are these compromised in obese children?

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Science, Biomechanics Research Laboratory, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. dianer@uow.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of obesity on upper and lower limb functional strength and power in children, and to determine whether the ability to perform the daily activity of rising from a chair was compromised in obese children. It was hypothesised that obese children would display less upper and lower limb functionality compared to their non-obese counterparts.

METHODS:

Upper and lower limb strength and power of 43 obese children (aged 8.4 +/- 0.5 y, BMI 24.1 +/- 2.3 kg/m(-2)) and 43 non-obese controls (aged 8.4 +/- 0.5 y, BMI 16.9 +/- 0.4 kg/m(-2)) were assessed using age-appropriate field-based tests: arm push/pull ability; basketball throw; vertical jump (VJ), and standing long jump (SLJ) performance. Functional lower limb strength was assessed for 13 obese and 13 non-obese children by quantifying their chair rising ability.

RESULTS:

Although obese children displayed significantly greater upper limb push (9.3 +/- 2.3 kg) and pull strength (9.6 +/- 3.0 kg) than their non-obese peers (push: 8.8 +/- 2.2 kg; pull: 8.8 +/- 2.3 kg; p < or = 0.05), their VJ (22.1 +/- 4.3 cm) and SLJ (94.6 +/- 12.8 cm) performance was significantly impaired relative to the non-obese children (VJ: 24.7 +/- 4.0 cm; SLJ: 101.7 +/- 14.0 cm; p < or = 0.05). Obese children spent significantly more time during all transfer phases of the chair rising task, compared to the non-obese children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower limb functionality in young obese children is impeded when they move their greater body mass against gravity.

PMID:
17902214
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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