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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 June;172(6):433-41
Feasibility, safety and subjective experience of a one-year WTF-Taekwondo training course for middle-aged volunteers: the Sekwondo study
Pons Van Dijk G. 1, Leffers P. 2, Lodder J. 1
1 Department of Neurology, University Hospital Maastricht and School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MeHNS), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands;
2 Department of Epidemiology and School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Aim: Aim of the study was to investigate in middle-aged healthy volunteers the feasibility, safety, and subjective experience of age-adapted Taekwondo training of one hour a week during one year.
Methods: Single arm intervention study with each participant serving as his or her own control. Study population: 24 healthy volunteers, 40-71 years of age. As a measure of program feasibility, we counted study dropouts and program non-compliers, and registered the reasons for withdrawal. To describe safety we measured and listed all training related injuries. Subjective assessment of training effects by participants was carried out by means of a questionnaire.
Results: Five participants withdrew from the training program, but all 24 had baseline and final measurements; three withdrew because of the program content and the complexity of the Taekwondo exercises. We offered 60 sessions and allowed additional training at the trainers’ Taekwondo club. The 19 participants who completed the study followed a median of 39 training sessions (range: 25-67). There were five (non-serious) training related injuries, which equals 5.7 per 1000 athlete exposures (AE) (confidence interval: 4-8/1000). Subjective benefits in the 19 study completers were on: physical fitness (9), mental fitness (5), self-confidence (6), and mood (4). Eighteen participants adhered to the program because it was experienced as fun even though two of these reported persistent minor ailments as a consequence of training.
Conclusion: Long-term age-adapted Taekwondo training is feasible in middle-aged, healthy persons. It can be safely executed, whereas it is experienced as fun and subjectively judged beneficial by most. Age-adjusted Taekwondo should be listed among the sports from which middle-aged people can choose to increase their physical exercise.