Influence of Medial Longitudinal Arch Deformation on Body Characteristics, Muscle Strength, Locomotive Function in the Community-Dwelling Elderly: A cross-section study
Background: Foot deformity can cause walking difficulty and posture problems in all age groups and lead to even more serious health problems in the elderly. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the effects of foot arch deformation on physical characteristics, muscular strength, and motor function in the community-dwelling elderly. We also assessed the reliability of the foot measurement method used in this study. Methods: Overall, 204 community-dwelling elderly participants, of whom
... ticipants, of whom 159 were women, aged 65 to 90 years old, were included in this study. This study measured and analyzed the feet arch height ratio (AHR, dorsal height/truncated foot length). Participants were classified based on the AHR values above, below, or within 1.5 SD into the High-Arched Group (HAG), Low-Arched Group (LAG), or Normal-Arched Group (NAG), respectively. Furthermore, the reliability of the foot arch measurement method was examined in 17 university students. The survey items compared body characteristics (age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and skeletal mass index), muscle strength (handgrip strength and foot intrinsic strength), and locomotive function (two-step value and gait speed) among the three groups based on AHR. The foot measurements and sex differences were measured using the Mann-Whitney test. The associations among the three groups were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: There were significant differences in BMI and walking speed among the three groups categorized according to AHR. The HAG had the highest BMI and the lowest walking speed among all groups. The foot measurements demonstrated high or moderate reliability. Conclusions: The decreased walking speed of elderly people was found to be associated with high-arched feet. Additionally, the BMI could be associated with high-arched feet. Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm whether obesity increases the incidence of high-arched feet.