Effects of Body Mass Index on Bone Loading Due to Physical Activity

Tina Smith, Sue Reeves, L. Halsey, Jorg Huber, Jin Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the current study was to compare bone loading due to physical activity between lean and, overweight and obese individuals. Fifteen participants (lower BMI group: BMI < 25 kg/m2, n=7; higher BMI group: 25 kg/m2 < BMI < 36.35 kg/m2, n=8) wore a tri-axial accelerometer on one day to collect data for the calculation of bone loading. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (short form) was used to measure time spent at different physical activity levels. Daily step counts were measured using a pedometer. Differences between groups were compared using independent t-tests. Accelerometer data revealed greater loading dose at the hip in lower BMI participants at a frequency band of 0.1–2 Hz (P = .039, Cohen’s d = 1.27) and 2–4 Hz (P = .044, d = 1.24). Lower BMI participants also had a significantly greater step count (P = .023, d = 1.55). This corroborated with loading intensity (d 0.93) and questionnaire (d = 0.79) effect sizes to indicate higher BMI participants tended to spend more time in very light, and less time in light and moderate activity. Overall participants with a lower BMI exhibited greater bone loading due to physical activity; participants with a higher BMI may benefit from more light and moderate level activity to maintain bone health. Keywords:pedometer, accelerometry, loading intensity, loading frequency ≥
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalJournal Of Applied Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Journal Of Applied Biomechanics, 2018, 34 (1): 7-13, https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.2016-0126. © Human Kinetics, Inc.


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