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Am J Phys Anthropol, 2020; 173(2): 258-275, PMID: 32735047

Muscle force interacts with stature to influence functionally related polar second moments of area in the lower limb among adult women.

Year: 2020

Murray AA, Stock JT
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the relationships between muscle size, function, and polar second moments of area (J) at the midshaft femur, proximal tibia, and midshaft tibia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used peripheral quantitative computed tomography to quantify right femoral and tibial J and soft tissue cross-sectional areas, and force plate mechanography to quantify peak power output and maximum force of the right limb, among athletic women and control subjects. RESULTS: Lower limb bone J exhibited strong relationships with estimated force but not power between both groups. Among controls, the strongest relationships between force and J were found at the midshaft femur. Among athletes, these relationships shifted to the tibia, regardless of body size, likely reflecting functional strain related to the major knee extensors and ankle plantarflexors. Together, muscle force and stature explained as much as 82 and 48% of the variance in lower limb bone J among controls and athletes, respectively. DISCUSSION: Results highlight the importance of considering relevant muscle function variables (e.g., force and lever arm lengths) when interpreting behavioral signatures from skeletal remains. Future work to improve the estimation of muscle force from skeletal remains, and incorporate it with lever arm length into analyses, is warranted. Results also suggest that, in doing so, functional relationships between a given section location and musculature should be considered.

GID: 5382; Last update: 07.04.2021