Differential Postural Control and Sensory Organization in Young Tennis Players and Taekwondo Practitioners

in Motor Control
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This study compared the sensory organization and standing balance of adolescent tennis players, taekwondo (TKD) practitioners, and healthy control participants. Sixty participants including 12 tennis players, 21 TKD practitioners, and 27 healthy control participants were tested. All of the participants underwent the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and the Unilateral Stance Test (UST) on a Smart Equitest system. Results revealed that tennis players had higher SOT visual ratios than the control participants (p = .005), and TKD practitioners swayed more slowly in the UST than the control participants (p = .039). No differences (p > .05) were found in the composite score, somatosensory ratio, or vestibular ratio between the groups. Tennis players swayed less when they relied more on visual input to maintain balance, whereas TKD practitioners were more stable when standing on one leg. Parents may consider these sports as recreational activities for their children to develop specific balance abilities.

Fong was with the Dept. of Health and Physical Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, and is now with the Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Tsang and Ng are with the Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Chung, Ma, and Chow are with the Dept. of Health and Physical Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China.

Address author correspondence to William W.N. Tsang at william.tsang@polyu.edu.hk.