Alpine skiing is one of the most popular leisure time winter sporting activities. Skiing imposes high requirements concerning physical fitness, particularly regarding balance abilities. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the changes in balance performance of recreational skiers after a seven-day ski camp. A total of 78 students - 24 women and 54 men - participated in the study. The ski course was held in accordance with the official program of the Polish Ski Federation. The study sample was comprised of 43 beginners and 35 intermediate skiers. All students were tested with the MFT S3-Check, the day before and the day after the ski camp. The test system consisted of an unstable uniaxial platform, with an integrated sensor and corresponding software. Changes in balance performance (sensory and stability index) were evaluated using paired t-tests. Additionally, changes in sensory and stability categories, which were based on the norm data, were analyzed. Female and male participants showed significantly better sensory and stability indices after skiing. Considerable changes from weak or very weak to average or good balance categories could be seen after skiing for both sexes. Regarding skiing experience, both beginners and intermediate skiers improved their sensory and stability indices significantly after skiing. Hence, recreational alpine skiing resulted in better balance performance regardless of sex or skiing experience. Skiing as an outdoor activity offers the opportunity to improve balance performance with a positive impact on everyday life activities.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.