Assessment of body plantar pressure in elite athletes: An observational study
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An intense program of physical activity, typical of elite athletes, results in a series of modifications of the posture that in a short period of time can have a negative impact on both their health and performance. These negative effects can be prevented and corrected by an integrated approach that encompasses anthropometry and posture evaluation. The aim of this study is the assessment of the anthropometric and postural parameters of elite athletes of different sports specialities to identify discipline(s) potentially associated with unbalanced postural attitudes. Height, weight, body mass index, stabilometric analysis, foot load, and center of pressure distribution were evaluated to identify which parameters are mainly correlated with postural aspects in professional athletes compared to amateur, age-matched subjects. We found a permanently unbalanced postural attitude in rugby players, skiers, and judokas, which are not, by definition, asymmetric sport disciplines. On the contrary, motorcyclists showed an overall balanced load distribution, probably due to the absence of any special performance required from lower limbs, potentially forcing a specific postural shape. This data is the basis to identify anthropometric and postural parameters mostly modified in different sport disciplines, which need to be always monitored to counteract the establishment of sport-specific imbalances.
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