Obesity and Base of Support

Recently we have been speaking and writing about “base of support” and how a narrow base of support will render a small comfort and control zone of balance in single leg tasking (walking, running, sports etc). We do not notice these things if we are standing on both feet or when walking or running per se, but all one needs to do is test a 30 second single leg stance to see how crappy one’s single limb base of support actually is. Most people will drift the pelvis laterally to get the single foot under the center of the body mass. This is a false support, it is a demonstration of weak support, unless you like to walk on a line/cross over gait. We should not have our knees rubbing together, scuffing our ankles or shoes together. If you do, you have a narrow base of support, have engrained a lazy style of locomotion, and you will wish and attempt to put the center of your body mass over the foot at all times. This is good if you are walking on ice, but that is about it. This is an epidemic, hence the prevalence of cross over gait out in the world. Increasing balance ability will help to increase base of support and hence help with reducing cross over gait (narrow step width gait and running) tendencies. Obesity seems to make this worse. Obesity in our world is wrecking our people, especially our kids.

“Alterations were detected in the intermittent postural control in obese children. According to the results obtained, active anticipatory control produces higher center of pressure displacement responses in obese children and the periods during which balance is maintained by passive control and reflex mechanisms are of shorter duration.”
“Differences in intermittent postural control between normal-weight and obese children ” Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, Xavier García-Massó