Functional limitations linked to high body mass index, age and current pain in obese women

Larsson, U Evers; Mattsson, E
June 2001
International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders;Jun2001, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p893
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To describe functional limitations in obese women. DESIGN: Comparisons of functional limitations in obese women and in a normal-weight reference group regarding mobility, balance and housework transport. SETTING: A large room with a corridor and staircase nearby. SUBJECTS: Fifty-seven consecutively selected obese female outpatients, mean age 44 y, body mass index (BMI) 37 kg · m[sup -2], and 22 voluntary references, mean age 49 y, BMI 22 kg · m[sup -2]. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pain questionnaire (for background data); a new valid and reliable test protocol measuring activities of daily life (ADL), pain and exertion, heart rate, balance and speed. RESULTS: The patients had problems in performing 13 of 16 actions compared with the references (P-values between 0.05 and 0.001). They moved more slowly and had difficulties and/or pain and exertion in flexibility tasks, balancing, activities at floor level (bending and kneeling), climbing stairs and carrying groceries. BMI (P=0.002), age (P=0.02) and current pain (P=0.02) from the lower body predicted functional limitation. CONCLUSIONS: The functional test reflected functional limitations in obese women, revealing difficulties and perceived pain in ADL. The test protocol can be used to evaluate the effects of training or dieting. For clinical use we recommend considering BMI, age and current pain for use when individualizing advice on training.


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