Research Article| Volume 37, ISSUE 5, P416-420, September 1998

The effect of increased weight on peak pressures: Implications for obesity and diabetic foot pathology

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      The purpose of this study was to determine if increased weight contributes to increased mean peak plantar foot pressures when foot function, deformity, and structure are controlled. Ten male and nine female volunteers without sensory neuropathy or other systemic disease were evaluated in the study. Using a repeated measures design, peak plantar foot pressures were compared using the Novel Pedar in-shoe pressure measurement system under three conditions. Baseline measurements were made while volunteers wore the standard test footwear, a thin-soled rubber oxford sneaker. The second and third test conditions involved pressure measurements with an additional 9.1 kg (20 lb) and 18.2 kg (401b), respectively, of weight evenly distributed in pockets on the front and back of a workout vest. There was a significant increase in mean peak plantar foot pressures under the metatarsal heads, heel, and midfoot for each incremental increase of weight (baseline vs. 9.1 kg, p < .05; 9.1 kg vs. 18.2 kg, p < .05). The authors conclude that increases in weight increased plantar foot pressures for the first metatarsal, lesser metatarsal, midfoot, and heel regions in both men and women.

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