The Relationship between Foot and Knee Angle and Cardiovascular Health


Joint misalignment and reduced range of motion can lead to discomfort during physical activity, thus creating a barrier to exercise. Lack of physical activity is related to cardiovascular (CV) disease and obesity. Studies show that obese individuals have a larger quadriceps (Q) angle, resulting in misaligned lower extremities. Thus, the connection between CV health status, joint alignment, and range of motion could be used to understand joint pain and reluctance to exercise. We examined associations between joint angles and CV health and fitness in 43 adults (28F, 15M, 25.7 ±10.8 yrs). Joint angle and motion was measured with a goniometer. CV health was measured by: body composition, fasted glucose/cholesterol levels, cardiac stress test, and 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. A main finding was that standing Q angle for the left (r= 0.569) and right leg (r= 0.362), and supine Q angle for the right leg (r= 0.418) are all directly related to fat mass (p<0.05, for all). Left supine Q angle was directly related to BMI (r= 0.375), and left standing Q angle was inversely related to VO2max (r= -0.307). Ankle dorsiflexion was directly related to VO2max (r= 0.354), and foot inversion was directly related to maximum heart rate (r= 0.450) (p<0.05 for all). In conclusion, CV health seems to have a relationship with Q angle and ankle range of motion. Increased body fat shows an association with knee misalignment, whereas an increased VO2max could be associated with increased range of motion in the ankle.



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The FASEB Journal


Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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