|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 3|
Musculoskeletal injuries in school children could be reduced improving trunk strength and hamstring flexibility. Low levels of trunk muscle strength and hamstring flexibility may result in acute and musculoskeletal chronic diseases. The Pilates Method can be appropriate to improve these physical condition attributes and has been rarely employed by this social group. On the other hand, it has been shown that trunk strength and flexibility are different between genders, but there is no evidence about the effect of exercise programs designed to improve both items in school children. Therefore the objective of this study was to measure the effect of a six-week Pilates-based exercise program in 14 year old school children trunk strength and hamstring flexibility, establishing differences in gender. The sample was composed of 57 students divided into experimental group (EG; n=30) and control group (CG; n=27). Bench Trunk Curl test (BTC), Sörensen test and Toe-touch test (TT) were used to measure dynamic muscular resistance in trunk flexion, isometric strength in trunk extension and hamstring flexibility, respectively. EG utilized the Pilates exercise program during six-weeks (2 days/week, 55minutes/session). After this period of training, EG improved trunk strength and hamstring flexibility significantly but there were no significant differences within CG. Although boys were better in BTC test and girls were better in TT test, there were no significant differences between them.
Ramadan requires individuals to abstain from food and fluid intake between sunrise and sunset; physiological considerations predict that poorer mood, physical performance and mental performance will result. In addition, any difficulties will be worsened because preparations for fasting and recovery from it often mean that nocturnal sleep is decreased in length, and this independently affects mood and performance.
A difficulty of interpretation in many studies is that the observed changes could be due to fasting but also to the decreased length of sleep and altered food and fluid intakes before and after the daytime fasting. These factors were separated in this study, which took place over three separate days and compared the effects of different durations of fasting (4, 8 or 16h) upon a wide variety of measures (including subjective and objective assessments of performance, body composition, dehydration and responses to a short bout of exercise) - but with an unchanged amount of nocturnal sleep, controlled supper the previous evening, controlled intakes at breakfast and daytime naps not being allowed. Many of the negative effects of fasting observed in previous studies were present in this experiment also. These findings indicate that fasting was responsible for many of the changes previously observed, though some effect of sleep loss, particularly if occurring on successive days (as would occur in Ramadan) cannot be excluded.