Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 290 - 296
Research article
Body Weight Independently Affects Articular Cartilage Catabolism
W. Matt Denning1,, Jason G. Winward2, Michael Becker Pardo2, J. Ty Hopkins2, Matthew K. Seeley2

1 Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance, Weber State University, Ogden, UT, USA
2 Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA

W. Matt Denning
‚úČ 1435 Village Dr., Dept. 2801, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408, USA

27-11-2014 -- Accepted: 23-01-2015 --
Published (online): 01-06-2015


Although obesity is associated with osteoarthritis, it is unclear whether body weight (BW) independently affects articular cartilage catabolism (i.e., independent from physiological factors that also accompany obesity). The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the independent effect of BW on articular cartilage catabolism associated with walking. A secondary purpose was to determine how decreased BW influenced cardiovascular response due to walking. Twelve able-bodied subjects walked for 30 minutes on a lower-body positive pressure treadmill during three sessions: control (unadjusted BW), +40%BW, and -40%BW. Serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) was measured immediately before (baseline) and after, and 15 and 30 minutes after the walk. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured every three minutes during the walk. Relative to baseline, average serum COMP concentration was 13% and 5% greater immediately after and 15 minutes after the walk. Immediately after the walk, serum COMP concentration was 14% greater for the +40%BW session than for the -40%BW session. HR and RPE were greater for the +40%BW session than for the other two sessions, but did not differ between the control and -40%BW sessions. BW independently influences acute articular cartilage catabolism and cardiovascular response due to walking: as BW increases, so does acute articular cartilage catabolism and cardiovascular response. These results indicate that lower-body positive pressure walking may benefit certain individuals by reducing acute articular cartilage catabolism, due to walking, while maintaining cardiovascular response.

Key words: Positive pressure treadmill, obesity, osteoarthritis, body mass, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein
Key Points
  • Walking for 30 minutes with adjustments in body weight (normal body weight, +40% and -40% body weight) significantly influences articular cartilage catabolism, measured via serum COMP concentration.
  • Compared to baseline levels, walking with +40% body weight and normal body weight both elicited significant increases in articular cartilage catabolism, while walking with -40% body weight did not.
  • Cardiovascular response (HR and RPE) was not significantly different during walking with normal body weight and when compared to walking with -40% body weight.


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    Matthew K. Seeley, J. Ty Hopkins, Michael Becker Pardo, Jason G. Winward, W. Matt Denning, (2015) Body Weight Independently Affects Articular Cartilage Catabolism. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (14), 290 - 296.

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