Balance and postural skills in normal-weight and overweight prepubertal boys

Deforche, Benedicte I., Hills, Andrew P., Worringham, Charles J., Davies, Peter S. W., Murphy, Alexia J., Bouckaert, Jacques J. and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse M. (2009) Balance and postural skills in normal-weight and overweight prepubertal boys. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 4 3: 175-182. doi:10.1080/17477160802468470

Author Deforche, Benedicte I.
Hills, Andrew P.
Worringham, Charles J.
Davies, Peter S. W.
Murphy, Alexia J.
Bouckaert, Jacques J.
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse M.
Title Balance and postural skills in normal-weight and overweight prepubertal boys
Journal name International Journal of Pediatric Obesity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1747-7166
Publication date 2009
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17477160802468470
Volume 4
Issue 3
Start page 175
End page 182
Total pages 8
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
920501 Child Health
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
111403 Paediatrics
Formatted abstract
This study investigated differences in balance and postural skills in normal-weight versus overweight prepubertal boys.

Fifty-seven 8-10-year-old boys were categorized overweight (N = 25) or normal-weight (N = 32) according to the International Obesity Task Force cut-off points for overweight in children. The Balance Master, a computerized pressure plate system, was used to objectively measure six balance skills: sit-to-stand, walk, step up/over, tandem walk (walking on a line), unilateral stance and limits of stability. In addition, three standardized field tests were employed: standing on one leg on a balance beam, walking heel-to-toe along the beam and the multiple sit-to-stand test.

Overweight boys showed poorer performances on several items assessed on the Balance Master. Overweight boys had slower weight transfer (p < 0.05), lower rising index (p < 0.05) and greater sway velocity (p < 0.001) in the sit-to-stand test, greater step width while walking (p < 0.05) and lower speed when walking on a line (p < 0.01) compared with normal-weight counterparts. Performance on the step up/over test, the unilateral stance and the limits of stability were comparable between both groups. On the balance beam, overweight boys could not hold their balance on one leg as long (p < 0.001) and had fewer correct steps in the heel-to-toe test (p < 0.001) than normal-weight boys. Finally, overweight boys were slower in standing up and sitting down five times in the multiple sit-to-stand task (p < 0.01).


This study demonstrates that when categorised by body mass index (BMI) level, overweight prepubertal boys displayed lower capacity on several static and dynamic balance and postural skills.
Keyword Balance
Air-displacement Plethysmography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 40 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 46 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 07:44:12 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH