Potential contributions of skeletal muscle contractile dysfunction to altered biomechanics in obesity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background Obesity alters whole body kinematics and joint kinetics during activities of daily living which are thought to contribute to increased risk of musculoskeletal injury, development of lower extremity joint osteoarthritis (OA), and physical disability. To date, it has widely been accepted that excess adipose tissue mass is the major driver of biomechanical alterations in obesity. However, it is well established that obesity is a systemic disease affecting numerous, if not all, organ systems of the body. Indeed, obesity elicits numerous adaptations within skeletal muscle, including alterations in muscle structure (ex. myofiber size, architecture, lipid accumulation, and fiber type), recruitment patterns, and contractile function (ex. force production, power production, and fatigue) which may influence kinematics and joint kinetics. This review discusses the specific adaptations of skeletal muscle to obesity, potential mechanisms underlying these adaptations, and how these adaptations may affect biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Fatigue
  • Muscle mass
  • Power
  • Specific force
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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