Sex-mediated differences and correlations between the anthropometric characteristics and motor abilities of university students

Robert Podstawski, Piotr Markowski, Cain Clark

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate sex-mediated differences, and the correlations, between anthropometric characteristics and motor abilities of university students performing various motor tests. The study was conducted between 2000-2018 on 4956 first-year full-time female students and 4551 male students (20.0±1.0 years total for both sexes). The participants’ body mass and height were measured, and their BMI was calculated. Motor abilities were evaluated in 13 motor skill tests. The recorded values of body mass, height and BMI were significantly higher in men than in women (percentage values: 22.8%, 8.9% and 6.8%; Sexual dimorphism indicator (SD): 1.96, 2.56 and 0.53). The greatest differences in the values of the SD indicator were observed in the 12-minute rowing ergometer test: (37.6%, SD-3.53), medicine ball backward and forward throws (37.77 and 37.48%, SD – 2.28 and 2.27), and standing long jump (23.98 %, SD-2.51). In both sexes, BMI was significantly (p<0.001) negatively correlated with all motor tests, excluding medicine ball throws (positive correlation, p<0.001) and 1-minute Burpee test (not significant in women). The correlations between body height and motor tests differed between sexes. Male students were characterized by significantly higher levels of anthropometric characteristics and motor abilities, whereas females performed better in flexibility tests. The advantage of men over women was highest in endurance and strength abilities, and lowest in speed/agility abilities. Body mass was significantly negatively correlated with all motor tests, excluding medicine ball backward and forward throws (positive correlations and no correlation in one case). Significant positive correlations were noted between motor tests evaluating the same motor abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2020

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Keywords

  • Anthropometric traits
  • Motor abilities
  • Motor tests
  • Sex differences
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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