The foot arch serves important functions in regard to shock absorption and the action of walking. Simple and quantitative classification of foot arch types such as flat foot and high arch would be helpful in health support for the elderly. The present authors have developed a classification system for foot arch type showing high reliability using foot pressure distribution data. However, effect of exercise intervention and foot load changes on foot arch evaluation using foot pressure distribution data remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exercise intervention and foot load changes on foot arch evaluation using foot pressure distribution data.
We conducted 2 field tests involving elderly individuals. 1) To investigate the effect of intervention in the elderly, foot pressure distribution data were measured before and after 12 week exercise intervention. We analyzed data from 14 elderly female individuals who had attended both the first and last sessions. 2) To investigate the load deformation characteristics of the foot arch by foot pressure distribution, foot pressure distribution data from 44 elderly were obtained by field test with elderly subjects standing on 1 leg and 2 legs.
Our results demonstrated that exercise intervention including foot care can improve foot arch function, and that these changes can be evaluated by foot pressure distribution data. From evaluation of tests involving bilateral and unilateral stance, it was suggested that that foot pressure distribution data can reflect load deformation characteristics and thus be used for evaluation. The subjects of this study were healthy and elderly, and more than half had a foot arch problem such as flat foot or high arch. Therefore, an evaluation system for foot type is considered very important in health support for the elderly.
- foot arch type
- foot pressure distribution
- evaluation system
- preventive care