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.
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.
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.
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.