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  1. Paula Matias1,
  2. Mário Costa2,
  3. Daniel Marinho3,
  4. Nuno Garrido4,
  5. António Silva4,
  6. Tiago Barbosa5
  1. 1 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development
  2. 2 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, Portugal
  3. 3 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, University of Beira Interior, Portugal
  4. 4 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
  5. 5 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Background Aquatic programs have gained popularity in therapy programs for a number of diseases or physical conditions. However, evidences about the effect of such programs on posture remain scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a 12-wks aquatic program on body posture and balance of sedentary women.

Methods 128 females were divided in experimental group (EG; N=85; 55.56±12.92-y; 159.21±6.11-cm of height; 65.28±8.76-kg) and control group (CG; N=43; 60.67±13.48-y; 159.19±4.87-cm of height; 63.86±8.64-kg). The program was conducted throughout 12 weeks, two sessions per week with 40 minutes each. Posture measurements were conducted before starting the program and at the end of the 12th week. The static posture, including bodýs centre of mass position (CoM), was assessed based on photogrammetry,2 unipodal support (US), functional reaching (FR) and Romberg test (RT) with parallel feet. The dynamic posture was obtained by applying the Time Up & Go test (TUG).3 The functional posture was assessed based on the Berg's balance scale (BBS).1 Data variation was analyzed with ANOVA two-ways (group vs program duration) measures (P≤0.05).

Results A significant effect from the program duration was observed in US (p<0.01), FR (p<0.01), RT (p=0.05), TUG (p<0.01) and BBS (p<0.01). The only exception was the CoM where a non-significant effect was determined (p=0.32). A significant effect from the group was observed for the TUG (p<0.01) and for the BBS (p=0.04) having the EG lower and higher values at the post-test than the CG, respectively. A non-significant effect was observed for the remaining assessments. The interaction between program duration vs group presented non-significant values for all the tests conducted.

Discussion/Conclusions Several selected variables presented a significant time effect (i.e., a posture and balance enhancement from the beginning to the end of the training program). So a 12-wks aquatic program is enough to provide an improvement in the body posture and balance of sedentary women.

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