This is the first known study where a running gait analysis, that includes both kinematic and kinetic data, has been conducted comparing children classified as OW/OB and HW. Several differences in running mechanics are present between OW/OB and HW children. Among the most notable are the higher ground reaction forces and unscaled joint moments, which may result in greater joint loading, malalignments, and potential joint pathologies. Encouraging participation in physical activity is crucial in reducing childhood obesity rates. Equally as important is prescribing appropriate exercise that do not place a child at an increased risk for developing other types of injuries or pathologies associated with excessive loading or malalignments. Progression from low- to high-impact activities may give the bone and muscle time to adjust to the increasing loads, potentially reducing and ideally eliminating the OW/OB children's increased risk of pain and injury. Creating a positive association with physical activity is important at a young age. By reducing a child's risk of pain and/or injury during physical activity, we may be able to increase the likelihood that they will enjoy and be willing to engage in physical activity throughout their life.
This project was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant no. 2011-67002-30202 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Childhood Obesity Prevention: Transdisciplinary Graduate Education and Training in Nutrition and Family Sciences or Child Development or Related Fields to Prevent Childhood Obesity–A2121.
The authors do not have any conflicts of interest related to this study. The results of the study are presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation. The results of the present study do not constitute endorsement by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021;53(10):2101-2110. © 2021 American College of Sports Medicine