The purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence of flat feet in 10- to 12- year-olds (i.e. at the age when the development of foot arching is practically completed) and to measure ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) in those with normal and flat feet.
Foot arch height in participants with normal and excessive weight was also compared.
The study group consisted of 400 children aged 10 to 12 years from three randomly selected primary schools.
Body mass index was calculated, and the participants’ weight status was categorised as normal weight, overweight, or obesity.
Measurements of the longitudinal arch of the foot were performed with the child in the standing position with both feet placed firmly on the computerised podoscope.
Active nonweightbearing dorsiflexion ROM was assessed with a manual goniometer; the measurement was taken with the children in the sitting position on a chair with their knees and ankles 90 degrees flexed and their feet placed on the support base.
The arithmetic mean and standard deviation were used to analyse the data, and the normal distribution of variables was assessed by means of the Shapiro-Wilk test.
This study showed that flat feet prevailed in approximately 36 percent of primary school children.
A great proportion of participants disclosed limited ankle dorsiflexion ROM in both (25 percent) or one (12 percent) ankle joint.
No connections between the longitudinal arch of the foot and the range of ankle dorsiflexion were observed.
Limited motion incidence was even more frequent in children with normal foot arches.
Overweight and obese children had significantly lower foot arches and notably smaller ankle dorsiflexion ROM than those with normal weight.
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