Effects of obesity on slip-induced fall risks among young male adults

Xuefang Wu, Thurmon E. Lockhart, Han T. Yeoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Obesty is associated with structural and functional limitations with impairment of normal gait. Although falls have been identified as the most common cause of injuries in the obese, the mechanisms associated with increased fall risk among the obese population are still unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of gait adaptations of the obese individuals and its implication on risk of slip initiations as measured by friction demand characteristics. To exclude the aging and gender effects, a total of ten healthy young male adults participated in the study. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected using a three-dimensional motion analysis system and force plates while subjects were walking at their self-selected walking pace. Results indicated that young obese adults walked similarly as their lean counterparts except for exhibiting greater step width and higher transversal friction demand, suggesting that slip-induced fall risks are similar along the horizontal direction, but increased along the transversal direction under certain floor conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1047
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 5 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Falls
  • Gait
  • Locomotion
  • Obesity
  • Slips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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