BACKGROUND: Today several important aspects related to the impact of long-term wheelchair sports on whole-body and regional body composition in athletes with a physical impairment are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study aimed at investigating the impact of the long-term regular practice of wheelchair sports on body composition in male wheelchair athletes (WA) as compared with both non-athletic participants with a physical impairment and non-athletic able-bodied participants. METHODS: Nine WA were each matched pairwise by age, duration of injury and body mass index (BMI) with a participant with a physical impairment not engaged in any wheelchair sport (N-WA) and by age and BMI with an able-bodied (AB) participant. Whole-body and regional bone mineral content (BMC), fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM), fat mass (FM) and percentage FM (%FM) were assessed by means of Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. RESULTS: WA had significantly lower FM and %FM vs. N-WA at the whole-body level (P = 0.01 for both) and in the trunk region (P = 0.001 and P = <0.001, respectively). The only difference in body composition variables between WA and AB was found in the legs where WA had significantly higher FM (P = 0.014) along with lower BMC (P = 0.009) and FFSTM (P = 0.005) vs. AB in the legs. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study showed that the regular, long-term practice of wheelchair sport may be associated with beneficial body composition adaptations in athletes with a physical impairment at the whole-body and trunk level.

Body composition assessment in athletes with physical impairment who have been practicing a wheelchair sport regularly and for a prolonged period

Cavedon, Valentina;Zancanaro, Carlo;Milanese, Chiara
2020

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Today several important aspects related to the impact of long-term wheelchair sports on whole-body and regional body composition in athletes with a physical impairment are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study aimed at investigating the impact of the long-term regular practice of wheelchair sports on body composition in male wheelchair athletes (WA) as compared with both non-athletic participants with a physical impairment and non-athletic able-bodied participants. METHODS: Nine WA were each matched pairwise by age, duration of injury and body mass index (BMI) with a participant with a physical impairment not engaged in any wheelchair sport (N-WA) and by age and BMI with an able-bodied (AB) participant. Whole-body and regional bone mineral content (BMC), fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM), fat mass (FM) and percentage FM (%FM) were assessed by means of Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. RESULTS: WA had significantly lower FM and %FM vs. N-WA at the whole-body level (P = 0.01 for both) and in the trunk region (P = 0.001 and P = <0.001, respectively). The only difference in body composition variables between WA and AB was found in the legs where WA had significantly higher FM (P = 0.014) along with lower BMC (P = 0.009) and FFSTM (P = 0.005) vs. AB in the legs. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study showed that the regular, long-term practice of wheelchair sport may be associated with beneficial body composition adaptations in athletes with a physical impairment at the whole-body and trunk level.
Body mass index; DXA; Fat mass; Spinal cord injury; Wheelchair court sports
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1018229
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