Comparison of Musculoskeletal Strength and Body Composition of Hong Kong Chinese Rugby Players, Dragon Boat Paddlers and Controls
Objective: This study used a cross-sectional experimental design to assess musculoskeletal strength, body composition and physical activity levels in Hong Kong Chinese dragon boat paddlers, rugby team players and controls. Methods: Sixty undergraduate male students (rugby players, n=20, dragon boat, n=20 and controls, n=20) were recruited from a local university. A One-way ANCOVA model was designed with bone strength, muscle strength, flexibility and body composition scores as the independent variables and the three groups as dependent variables. Results: Significant between-group differences in handgrip strength, flexibility, fat free mass and percentage of body fat were noted. There was a concomitant higher fat free mass in the rugby and dragon boat players when compared to the controls, whist the percentage of body fat was significantly lower for these two groups. Flexibility was also higher in the rugby and dragon boat players when compared to the control group participants. The percentage of time spent in MVPA between rugby, dragon boat and controls was analyzed using one-way ANOVA. Conclusion: These preliminary findings provide evidence into the benefits of university sports participation and much needed evidence in the role sports such as dragon boat and rugby play in musculoskeletal strength, flexibility and the possible effect on body composition.