Effect of additional body weight on arch index and dynamic plantar pressure distribution during walking and gait termination

Xuanzhen Cen, Datao Xu, Julien Baker, Yaodong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The medial longitudinal arch is considered as an essential feature which distinguishes humans from other primates. The longitudinal arch plays a supporting and buffering role in human daily physical activities. However, bad movement patterns could lead to deformation of arch morphology, resulting in foot injuries. The authors aimed to investigate any alterations in static and dynamic arch index following different weight bearings. A further aim was to analyze any changes in plantar pressure distribution characteristics on gait during walking and stopping, Twelve males were required to complete foot morphology scans and three types of gait tests with 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% of additional body weight. The dynamic gait tests included walking, planned and unplanned gait termination. Foot morphology details and plantar pressure data were collected from subjects using the Easy-Foot-Scan and Footscan pressure platform. No significant differences were observed in static arch index when adding low levels of additional body weight (10%). There were no significant changes observed in dynamic arch index when loads were added in the range of 20% to 30%, except in unplanned gait termination. Significant maximal pressure increases were observed in the rearfoot during walking and in both the forefoot and rearfoot during planned gait termination. In addition, significant maximum pressure increases were shown in the lateral forefoot and midfoot during unplanned gait termination when weight was increased. Findings from the study indicated that excessive weight bearing could lead to a collapse of the arch structure and, therefore, increases in plantar loading. This may result in foot injuries, especially during unplanned gait termination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8998
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Arch height
  • Body loading
  • Foot morphology
  • Gait termination
  • Plantar loading


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