Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of cartilage and bone tissue, and is linked to more than 70% of total hip and knee replacements [1]. In 1994 the direct and indirect costs of OA in the United States were $155 billion [2] and in 2006 OA resulted in approximately $10.5 billion in hospital charges [3]. Obesity is a risk factor for OA [1, 3, 4], likely due to increased knee loading [5, 6] and varus malalignment [7] in gait. Seated cycling has been recommended as a weight-loss exercise with lower knee loads than walking or jogging [8]. However, lack of biomechanical studies for obese subjects in exercises, other than gait, impedes selection of exercises that may best prevent knee OA development in the obese population.

This study tests the hypothesis that cycling knee kinematics and kinetics are not different for normal weight (NW) and obese (OB) subjects. The long-term goal of our research group is to calculate knee joint loading and kinematics during select exercises to aid in selection of weight-loss exercises that minimize risk of OA development. The objectives of this study are to (1) conduct cycling experiments with a motion capture system to calculate internal knee kinematics and kinetics and (2) compare knee kinematics and kinetics for normal weight and obese subjects during cycling.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bmed_fac/82