Effect of obesity onset on pendular energy transduction at spontaneous walking speed: Prader–willi versus nonsyndromal obese individuals

Authors

  • Davide Malatesta,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Sport Sciences of University of Lausanne (ISSUL), Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Luca Vismara,

    1. Department of Auxology, Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit and Laboratory of Research in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, S Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Verbania, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Francesco Menegoni,

    1. Department of Auxology, Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit and Laboratory of Research in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, S Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Verbania, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Graziano Grugni,

    1. Department of Auxology, S Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Verbania, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paolo Capodaglio

    1. Department of Auxology, Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit and Laboratory of Research in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, S Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Verbania, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

  • Funding agencies: No funding was received for the present study. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The experiments in this study were performed in accordance with the laws of the country in which the study was conducted.

Abstract

Objective

To compare the mechanical external work (Wext) and pendular energy transduction (Rstep) at spontaneous walking speed (Ss) in individuals with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) versus subjects with nonsyndromal obesity (OB) to investigate whether the early onset of obesity allows PWS subjects to adopt energy conserving gait mechanics.

Design and Methods

Wext and Rstep were computed using kinematic data acquired by an optoelectronic system and compared in 15 PWS (BMI = 39.5 ± 1.8 kg m−2; 26.7 ± 1.5 year) and 15 OB (BMI = 39.3 ± 1.0 kg m−2; 28.7 ± 1.9 year) adults matched for gender, age and BMI and walking at Ss.

Results

Ss was significantly lower in PWS (0.98 ± 0.03 m s−1) than in OB (1.20 ± 0.02 m s−1; P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in Wext per kilogram between groups (PWS: 0.37 ± 0.04 J kg−1 m−1; OB: 0.40 ± 0.05 J kg−1 m−1; P = 0.66) and in Rstep (PWS: 69.9 ± 2.9%; OB: 67.7 ± 2.4%; P = 0.56). However, Rstep normalized to Froude number (Rstep/Fr) was significantly greater in PWS (6.0 ± 0.6) than in OB (3.8 ± 0.2; P = 0.001). Moreover, Rstep/Fr was inversely correlated with age of obesity onset (r = −0.49; P = 0.006) and positively correlated with obesity duration (r = 0.38; P = 0.036).

Conclusion

Individuals with PWS seem to alter their gait to improve pendular energy transduction as a result of precocious and chronic adaptation to loading.

Ancillary