Balance, Dual-Task Walking and Power in Traditional Taekwondo Athletes

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Rader-Todd, Shelly
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Middle Tennessee State University
Improvements in worldwide life expectancy have created challenges for healthcare systems and families in navigating age-related declines in cognitive and physical function. These changes impact the ability to live independently as declines in lower body power, balance, and dual-tasking abilities increase injury risk. Taekwondo integrates functional movements that may slow age-related physical and cognitive declines. Data from 46 Taekwondo practitioners consisted of vertical jump height, dual-task walking, and balance. Participants were divided into young (18 – 34 years), middle-aged (35 – 54 years), and older groups (55 – 80 years). There was a statistically significant decrease in vertical jump height of 29.4% from the young to the middle-aged group (F(2, 43) = 12.39, p = .00). There were no significant relationships between age groups for dual-task walking. Balance scores with eyes closed on a firm surface for the middle-aged group fell below the 50th percentile on the BTrackS general population normative data. All other balance scores were at or above the 50th percentile. Evidence suggests Taekwondo may slow the decline of aging, potentially sustaining the ability to live independently.
Aging, Balance, Dual-Task, Functional Movement, Power, Taekwondo, Health sciences