Objectives: Postural control strategy and balance performance of rugby players are important yet under-examined issues. This study aimed to examine the differences in balance strategy and balance performance between amateur rugby players and non-players, and to explore training- and injury-related factors that may affect rugby players’ balance outcomes. Design: Cross-sectional and exploratory study. Methods: Forty-five amateur rugby players and 41 healthy active individuals participated in the study. Balance performance and balance strategies were assessed using the sensory organization test (SOT) of the Smart Equitest computerized dynamic posturography machine. Rugby training history and injury history were solicited from the participants. Results: The SOT strategy scores were 1.99–54.90% lower in the rugby group than in the control group (p <0.05), and the equilibrium scores were 1.06–14.29% lower in the rugby group than in the control group (p <0.05). After accounting for age, sex and body mass index, only length of rugby training (in years) was independently associated with the SOT condition 6 strategy score, explaining 15.7% of its variance (p = 0.006). There was no association between SOT condition 6 strategy/equilibrium scores and injury history among the rugby players (p >0.05). Conclusions: Amateur rugby players demonstrated inferior balance strategy and balance performance compared to their non-training counterparts. Their suboptimal balance strategy was associated with insufficient training experience but not with history of injury. Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
CitationChow, G. C. C. , Fong, S. S. M., Chung, J. W. Y., Chung, L. M. Y., Ma, A. W. W., & Macfarlane, D. J. (2016). Determinants of sport-specific postural control strategy and balance performance of amateur rugby players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(11), 946-950.
- Postural balance
- Athletic injuries