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Effects of Obesity on Posture and Walking: Study Prior to and Following Surgically Induced Weight Loss

Abstract

Background

We investigate whether in severely obese people a marked weight loss may influence individual postural control and motor activities and then reverse the alterations caused by the extra load of body mass. Recent studies have shown that most severely obese patients have various degrees of impairment of postural control, but only a few studies considered those subjects before and after a marked weight loss.

Methods

Ten obese and ten subjects of average weight took part in our experiment. The subjects were requested to perform four different tasks. All obese patients repeated the tasks 1 year after undergoing bariatric surgery.

Results

We have found differences between obese and normal-weight people in the execution of all four work tasks. However, a year after surgery, obese patients showed a change in the execution of only two tasks, keeping the same performance in the other two.

Conclusions

The excess of fat mass alters the execution of some tasks, as confirmed by the improvement obtained after weight loss. For other work tasks, we can hypothesize that the neurophysiological plasticity of the neuro-muscular system would require more time to adapt.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the nursing staff and other volunteers who have offered to take part in the group of normal-weight subjects, Peterson Eleanor Ann for English-language review, and the Department of Surgery, Azienda Università Ospedale San Martino, Genova that provided the equipment (camera, tripod, and mat).

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statements

Ponta Monica Laura: no conflict of interest.

Gozza Martina: no conflict of interest.

Giacinto Jessica: no conflict of interest.

Gradaschi Raffaella: no conflict of interest.

Adami Gian Franco: no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to M. L. Ponta.

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Ponta, M.L., Gozza, M., Giacinto, J. et al. Effects of Obesity on Posture and Walking: Study Prior to and Following Surgically Induced Weight Loss. OBES SURG 24, 1915–1920 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-014-1254-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-014-1254-6

Keywords

  • Weight loss
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Posture
  • Biomechanical analysis
  • Mobility impairment
  • Musculoskeletal impact