Effects of obesity on postural balance and occurrence of falls in asymptomatic adults

Efeitos da obesidade no equilíbrio postural e ocorrência de quedas em adultos assintomáticos

Thatiane Lopes Valentim Di Paschoale Ostolin Bárbara de Barros Gonze Matheus Oliveira de Jesus Rodolfo Leite Arantes Evandro Fornias Sperandio Victor Zuniga Dourado About the authors



Previous studies suggested that body weight is a strong predictor for postural balance. High body mass index (BMI) presented an association with increased postural sway. However, it seems controversial since studies reported no difference between obese and control group regarding the position of the center of pressure in static postural balance (PB). Also, there is a lack of investigations about the impact of obesity on PB, free of the confound effect of cardiometabolic risk.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of obesity in static PB and occurrence of falls in asymptomatic adults and older adults over 40 years old.


The PB of 624 subjects divided into quartiles for BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height and fat body mass as percentage (%FBM) was assessed with and without vision using a force platform. An MANOVA was used to determine if there were differences between quartiles and a logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders variables were applied to determine the obesity role in the occurrence of falls.


We found weak to moderate bivariate correlations between obesity and static PB, which became non-significant after adjustment. We found significant differences between first and fourth quartiles, especially using %FBM. Obesity was not related to the occurrence of falls since the odds ratio values became non-significant for all the indices of obesity after adjustment.


Obesity presents little influence on maintaining static PB and seems not to determine the occurrence of falls among subjects over 40 years old.

Falls; Postural Balance; Obesity

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná Rua Imaculada Conceição, 1155 - Prado-Velho -, Curitiba - PR - CEP 80215-901, Telefone: (41) 3271-1608 - Curitiba - PR - Brazil
E-mail: revista.fisioterapia@pucpr.br