Study aim: To assess body posture and somatic parameters in young females practicing basketball in comparison with their non-training peers and to state whether there is a relationship between the quality of one's posture and the length and frequency of training.
Material and methods: The study included 32 young female basketball players aged 13-15 years old. The period of basketball practice was 3-4 years for the group aged 13-14 years; the frequency of practice was 3-7 times per week. In the case of the group of 15-year-olds, it was 4-5 years, 4-7 times a week, respectively. The control group consisted of 37 young female subjects in the same age brackets that did not participate in any directed physical activity. Body height was measured with the use of a height meter at medical scales, whereas body mass, fat mass, and total body water mass were defined with the use of Tanita electronic scale. A specialist device using the projection Moiré method (MORA, CQElektronik System, Poland) was used to assess one's body posture.
Results: Body height and water mass were significantly different in the younger group. However, the parameters of body posture differed significantly only in the group of 15-year-olds. The following have been observed: much greater asymmetries in pelvic placement in the transverse plane (p<0.05), significantly greater asymmetries of shoulder blades in relation to the transverse plane (p<0.01), as well as significantly smaller thoracic kyphosis angle (p<0.05) in female basketball players in comparison with the placement of the above parameters in their non-training peers. Moreover, correlations between the frequency of basketball practice and the deflection of the line of spinous processes, torso inclination angle, placement of shoulder blades in the transverse plane and towards the spine, kyphosis angle, and a synthetic index of body posture (i.e. postural symmetry) were noted.
Conclusions: Training basketball may lead to increased occurrence of asymmetry of one's body posture.
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”.