2023, Volume 19
Body balance disturbation tolerance skills combat sports athletes and people with other motor experiences in dynamically changing circumstances in own research – a perspective for predicting personal safety during real-life performance in extreme situations
Artur Litwiniuk1, Bartłomiej Gąsienica Walczak2, Władysław Jagiełło3, Artur Kruszewski4
1Faculty of Physical Education and Health, Biala Podlaska, Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
2Health Institute, Podhale State College of Applied Sciences in Nowy Targ, Nowy Targ, Poland
3Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdańsk, Poland
4Department of Individual Sports, Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Author for correspondence: Bartłomiej Gąsienica Walczak; Health Institute, Podhale State College of Applied Sciences in Nowy Targ, Nowy Targ, Poland; email: email@example.com
Background and Study Aim: Body balance disturbation tolerance skills (BBDTS) is the ability to maintain the vertical posture in circumstances of the fall hazard. One of the extreme situations in which BBDTS is crucial is operating in the dark (e.g. nighttime, unexpected breakdown or switching off of artificial lighting), when visual control of the surroundings becomes impossible. In some of the specific occupations (e.g. the profession of a tightrope walker) or other motor activities disturbed by stimuli of varying strength and duration, the upper limbs are helpful in maintaining (restoring) body balance. The aim of this study is knowledge about BBDTS in the dynamically changing circumstances of human activity under laboratory conditions.
Material and Methods: As in previous studies of our own (combat sports athletes, firefighters, horse riders, mountain bikers) the groups were not homogeneous in terms of combat sports practiced, seniority, or seniority and age, so the experiment in a laboratory setting was conducted with 27 third-year (male) physiotherapy students attending a safe falling class once a week. In the reference group (n = 25), the age range was from 20 to 23 years (M 21.16 ±0.6); body height from 170 to 198 cm (181.37 ±6.05); body weight from 65 to 87 kg (76.11 ±6.67. Characteristics of the other two students who performed the extended task (exercise) programme: Volunteer A, age 21 years, height 182 cm, weight 76 kg; Volunteer B, 21 years, 178 cm, 80 kg.
A rotational test (‘RT’) in quasi apparatus version was used to measure BBDTS. ‘RT’ consists of six tasks (consecutive jumps with body rotation of 360° alternately to the right and to the left). The overall result (motoric aspect) is the sum of the six tasks and includes 0 to 18 stipulated points. Criteria of an individual level of BBDTS are as follows: very high (0-1), high (2-3), average (4-9), low (10-12), very low (13-15), insufficient (16-18). The execution time (s) ‘RT’ was a qualitative supplementary criterion.
The high-dynamic-change experiment was based on performing 'RT' three times repeated at 1 minute intervals: trial I (under standard conditions), trial II (in darkened goggles); trial III (upper limbs restrained with an orthopedic belt). The extended programme for volunteers included trial IV (‘RT’ in goggles and upper limbs restrained). Thus, the volunteers' specific effort exposure lasted 4 minutes.
Results: Blindfolded eyes (trial II) is the strongest factor interfering with BBDTS: motor effect 8 ±2.61 points (min 3, max 12), a deterioration of the mean score relative to trial I by 2.68 points, p<0.001 (M 5.32 ±3.28 points; min 0, max 11); ‘RT’ execution time 19.99 ±5.26 seconds (min 12.94; max 33.72) – a deterioration of 5.84 seconds p<0.001 (trial I: 14,15 ±1.19 seconds; min 11.51; max 16.75). Results with restrained limbs are similar to trial I: 5.92 ±2.38 points (min 2; max 11), execution time 16.2 ±3.31 seconds (min 12.75; max 27.24) but statistically significant in relation points: trial II with trial III p<0.01; while in relations of execution time ‘RT’: trial I with trial II p<0.001, trial I with trial III p<0.01, trial II with trial III p<0.001. Volunteers took the longest to perform trial IV: A 38.16 seconds (previous respectively: 18.51-, 31.16-, 24.21 seconds; B 28.31 seconds (previous: 15.47-, 21.28-, 24.21 seconds)
Conclusions: The large inter-individual variation is evidence that there are individuals who are able to compensate for negative effects at a similar level, despite dynamically changing circumstances stressing components of the neurophysiological system responsible for BBDTS. Thus, the results of such and similar empirical arrangements can form the basis for the selection of persons for especially difficult rescue or intervention tasks. Thus, providing personal security for those who would not be able to cope with such tasks precisely because of low BBDTS. The results may also be useful in sports, prevention and therapy.
Key words: firefighters, postural control, rotational test, stability