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Exercise effects in plantar pressure of postmenopausal women

Monteiro, Marco A. MSc1; Gabriel, Ronaldo E. PhD2; Neves e Castro, Manuel MD3; Sousa, Mário F. MD3; Abrantes, João M. PhD4; Moreira, Maria H. PhD1

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181ddf6ef
Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a 12-month moderate-to-vigorous exercise program on plantar pressure among postmenopausal women.

Methods: A total of 121 white postmenopausal women participated in a randomized controlled trial (60 women in the exercise group and 61 women in the control group). Women in the exercise group attended training sessions of 60 minutes, 3 days per week, on nonconsecutive days. Weight and basal metabolic rate were evaluated by bioimpedance, and height was evaluated with a stadiometer. Plantar pressure data were collected using the Footscan platform and Software 7.1.

Results: After the 1-year intervention, women from the exercise group had (1) lower body mass index, (2) equal basal metabolic rate, (3) lower peak pressures, and (4) lower absolute impulses compared with the women from the control group. Interaction between the exercise group and practice time was found for most of the maximal peak pressure areas (except for metatarsal 4), for all absolute impulse values, and for relative impulses in the hallux, metatarsal 4, midfoot, and medial heel.

Conclusions: This study seems to prove that women who exercise have decreased loading of maximal peak pressures and absolute impulses and, consequently, self-reported pain, soreness, and discomfort in the lower extremity. An interaction effect between group and practice time was found for most of the variables considered, meaning that this 12-month exercise program is effective in the improvement of the biomechanic parameters of plantar pressure.

The effect of a 12-month moderate-to-vigorous exercise program on plantar pressure among postmenopausal women was investigated. The results of this study provide proof that women who exercise have decreased loading of maximal peak pressures and absolute impulses and, consequently, self-reported pain, soreness, and discomfort in the lower extremity.

From the 1Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health, and Human Development (CIDESD) and 2Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences (CITAB), Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise, and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal; 3Portuguese Menopause Society, Lisbon, Portugal; and 4MovLab/CICANT/Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon, Portugal.

Received November 13, 2009; revised and accepted March 11, 2010.

Funding/support: This research was supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (POCI/DES/59049/2004 and SFRH/BD/38776/2007) and Operational Program for Science and Innovation 2010 (POCI 2010) cofinanced by the European Social fund (FEDER).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Ronaldo E. Gabriel, PhD, Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise, and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes andAlto Douro, PO Box 1013, 5001-801, Vila Real, Portugal. E-mail: rgabriel@utad.pt

©2010The North American Menopause Society