Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Original report

Evaluation of a dual-scales method to measure weight-bearing through the legs, and effects of weight-bearing inequalities on hip bone mineral density and leg lean tissue mass

Susan Hopkins, Christopher Smith, Andrew Toms, Mary Brown, Joanne Welsman, Karen Knapp
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, EX44QL Exeter, United Kingdom. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1093


Objective: To investigate: the accuracy of measuring relative left/right weight-bearing using two identically calibrated weighing scales; the short-term weight-bearing tendencies in a general population of 9 participants and long-term in 42 females; the effect weight-bearing inequalities on hip bone mineral density and leg lean tissue mass.
Method: Participants were measured standing astride two scales. Short-term volunteers were measured 10 times on one visit, with repositioning between measurements and the long-term group were measured on three visits at 6 month intervals. Baseline bilateral hip and total body Dual X-ray Absorptiometry scans were performed on the long-term group.
Results: The short-term Coefficient of Variation is 5. 41% and long-term 7. 01%. No significant correlations were found between hip bone density differences and weight-bearing inequalities, although a weak correlation of r = 0. 31 (p = 0. 047) was found for differences in leg lean tissue mass.
Conclusion: Left/right weight-bearing measured using two scales is a consistent method for evaluating weight distribution through the legs. The short- and long-term weight-bearing tendencies showed a similar degree of variation. Weight-bearing inequalities were not associated with any significant left/right differences in bone mineral density at the hip, but were weakly associated with left-right differences in leg muscle mass.

Lay Abstract


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