Effect of rock climbing on cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential, balance, body composition, and functional index in congenitally blind and sighted girls
Background and Aim: Most sighted children spontaneously maintain an adequate degree of physical fitness during the course of normal daily activities. However, blind people are reported to be significantly below the physical fitness norms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of eight weeks of rock climbing on cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP), balance, body composition, and functional index in congenitally blind and sighted female students.
Methods: In this semi-experimental study, 10 sighted and 10 blind girls aged 7-12 years were trained rock climbing for eight weeks with three sessions per week, and each session spanned 30 to 45 minutes. cVEMP latencies, dynamic/static balance, right-hand power, leg strength, and body fat percentage were recorded before and after training.
Results: Cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential in both blind and sighted groups did not change significantly. Dynamic balance, static balance, right-hand power, and leg strength increased significantly in both the groups (p>0.05), whereas the body fat percentage significantly decreased in both groups.
Conclusion: Eight weeks of rock climbing training led to a decrease in body fat percentage and a significant increase in the functional index in sighted and blind children. This suggests that rock climbing practice can be used as a proper workout protocol for maintaining health and increasing the balance and physical strength of these individuals.
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