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Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(4) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(3):446-50



A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111

Frequency: Monthly

ISSN 0022-4707

Online ISSN 1827-1928


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(3):446-50


    Original articles

The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length and perdormance in skiing

Manning J. T.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, U.K.

Background. The ratio of the length of the 2nd and 4th digits (2D:4D) is sexually dimorphic with males tending to have lower values (longer 4 digits relative to 2nd) than females. There is evidence that low 2D:4D ratio is associated with high prenatal and adult levels of testosterone, good visuo-spatial ability, protection against heart attack, high self-reported sporting attainment and good soccer ability.
Methods. This preliminary study aimed to assess the relationship between 2D:4D ratio and skiing speed on the basis of times recorded on a 200 m slalom course by 72 skiers. Each skier made 2 individual timed runs and the fastest time was used for comparisons. Seventy-two sex and age-matched non-skiers served as controls for a comparison of 2D:4D.
Results. There were lower values of 2D:4D in males compared to females, and in skiers compared to non-skiers. Age and skiing experience were not related to 2D:4D. Analyses of performance were restricted to the younger skiers (6 to 25 years, n=57). Age and skiing experience were negatively related to best times. The 2D:4D ratio was positively related to skiing times i.e. participants with low 2D:4D recorded the fastest times. The relationship between 2D:4D and skiing times was independent of sex, age and performance.
Conclusions. Low 2D:4D in skiers compared to controls suggests the former are more andogenised than the latter. Low 2D:4D was associated with fast skiing times. The 2D:4D ratio is fixed before birth and could be used to help identify young skiers who have potential to reach high levels of performance.

language: English

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