OBJECTIVE: Effects of obesity on trunk forward flexion motion in sitting and standing, and postural adaptations and hip joint moment for a standing work task. DESIGN: Cross-sectional comparison of obese and normal weight groups. SUBJECTS: Ten obese subjects (waist girth 121.2+/-16.8 cm, body mass index (BMI) 38.9+/-6.6 kg m(-2)) and 10 age- and height-matched normal weight subjects (waist girth 79.6+/-6.4 cm, BMI 21.7+/-1.5 kg m(-2)). METHODS: Trunk motion during seated and standing forward flexion, and trunk posture, hip joint moment and hip-to-bench distance during a simulated standing work task were recorded. RESULTS: Forward flexion motion of the thoracic segment and thoracolumbar spine was decreased for the obese group with no change in pelvic segment and hip joint motion. Obese subjects showed a more flexed trunk posture and increased hip joint moment and hip-to-bench distance for a simulated standing work task. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased range of forward flexion motion, differing effects within the trunk, altered posture during a standing work task and concomitant increases in hip joint moment give insight into the aetiology of functional decrements and musculoskeletal pain seen in obesity.
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