DOES FATIGUE AFFECT BALANCE AND PROPRIOCEPTION?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that fatigue had on balance and proprioception and apply the study’s findings to previous research in regards to injury risk. Research has looked at the effect fatigue has on balance and proprioception separately but no one has researched them together. Seventeen sports students took part in the study and underwent the Bruce’s protocol for fatigue. Pre and post balance testing was conducted using the Y-balance test, and the Romberg test was used to test for a decrease in proprioception. Results showed that fatigue caused a decrease in balance, the mean score for pre fatigue was 97cm and post fatigue was 94cm. The difference between pre and post fatigue was significant as p value=0.000 and t value= 4.6cm. The results also showed that fatigue had a negative effect on proprioception as 76.5% of the subjects presented a positive Romberg test post fatigue. The change in proprioception was significant as p value= 0.000 and t value= -7.2. The principle finding from this study were that the negative effect fatigue had on balance and proprioception is significant. The results from the study showed that fatigue had a negative effect on balance and proprioception. Alterations within postural stabilization, caused by fatigue, altered the efficiency of the neuromuscular system. Supported by previous research the alterations within the neuromuscular system can lead to an increase in injury risk. Future research should look at whether increased balance and proprioception training has an effect on the difference between pre and post results, as well as looking at the effect training would have on injury risk.
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