Sensory Integration and Standing Balance in Adolescent Taekwondo Practitioners

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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Taekwondo (TKD) is a popular sport among adolescents. This study aims to (a) compare the balance performance between adolescent TKD practitioners at different levels of expertise with nonpractitioners and (b) determine the sensory system(s) that contributed to the balance function in adolescents with and without TKD training. Subjects with >5 years of TKD training (n = 11), <4 years of training (n = 10), and no training (n = 10) participated in this study. The sway velocity, somatosensory, vestibular and visual ratios were recorded during standing on a balance testing system. Both short- and long-term TKD practitioners swayed slower than control subjects when standing on one leg (p = .016 and 0.012, respectively). However, only short-term practitioners have better visual ratio (p = .018) and vestibular ratio (p = .029) than control subjects. There was no significant difference in the somatosensory ratio among the 3 groups. We conclude that adolescents undertaking TKD training may have better balance performance than untrained subjects.

Fong and Ng are with the Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (SAR), China.

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