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This study sought to assess the prevalence of flat feet in primary school children and to find correlations among arch height, ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM), and obesity level.
The 400 children aged 10 to 12 years who took part in the study had their body height, weight, and fat percentage measured. Based on these measurements, body mass index was calculated and weight status was categorized for all of the participants. The height of the longitudinal arch of the foot was measured on a computerized podoscope and given in Clarke's angles. Dorsiflexion ROM was assessed with the child in the nonweightbearing sitting position with the knees 90° flexed. The arithmetic mean and standard deviation were implemented to analyze the data. Intergroup differences were assessed by Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, and post hoc Tukey tests. Significance was accepted at P = .05.
Flat feet were found in 36% of participants; limited ROM was found in both feet in 25% of participants and in one foot in 12%. No significant differences in dorsiflexion ROM in children with high-arched, normal, and flat feet were revealed. Excessive body weight was disclosed in 21% of participants. Overweight and obese children had significantly lower foot arches and notably smaller ankle dorsiflexion ROM than those with normal weight.
Ankle dorsiflexion ROM is similar in children with high-arched, normal, and flat feet. However, limited dorsiflexion ROM is more often found in children with excessive weight.
Corresponding author: Agnieszka Jankowicz-Szymanska, PhD, Institute of Health Sciences, State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow, ul. A. Mickiewicza 8, Tarnow, 33-100, Poland. (E-mail: email@example.com)