Review of the literature regarding gait and class III obesity

Catherine G. Ling, Sandra S. Brotherton, Sheila O. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Physical activity is a major component of disease prevention and health promotion. Walking is a popular and convenient form of physical activity as well as a necessary activity of daily living. When an individual is overweight, changes occur in gait (the cycle of lower limb movement for walking). The impairment of this basic component of daily living can become a barrier to weight loss and result in disability. Published research suggests that gait changes increase as BMI increases. Therefore, individuals with Class III obesity [Body Mass Index (BMI) of > 40] are more likely to face mobility problems associated with gait when compared with people who have lower BMIs. These gait deviations may affect the ability to participate in physical activity. However, there are gaps in the current published literature regarding the effect of obesity on some components of gait in this population. A better understanding of the impact of obesity on gait will allow those with disability to be identified and will aid in the development of exercise interventions designed to remediate underlying impairments and improve functional performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Exercise Physiology Online
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Morbid obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)


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