Effect of adapted karate training on quality of life and body balance in 50-year-old men
Marie-Ludivine Chateau-Degat1, Gérard Papouin2, Philippe Saint-Val3, Antonio Lopez2
1Axe sante des populations et environmentale, CHUQ, Laval University, Quebec, Canada; 2Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Territorial du Taone, 3Fédération Tahitienne de Karaté, Papeete, French Polynesia
Background: Aging is associated with a decrease in physical skills, sometimes accompanied by a change in quality of life (QOL). Long-term martial arts practice has been proposed as an avenue to counter these deleterious effects. The general purpose of this pilot study was to identify the effects of an adapted karate training program on QOL, depression, and motor skills in 50-year-old men.
Methods and design: Fifteen 50-year-old men were enrolled in a one-year prospective experiment. Participants practiced adapted karate training for 90 minutes three times a week. Testing sessions, involving completion of the MOS 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF36) and Beck Depression Inventory, as well as motor and effort evaluation, were done at baseline, and six and 12 months.
Results: Compared with baseline, participants had better Beck Depression Inventory scores after one year of karate training (P < 0.01) and better perception of their physical health (P < 0.01), but not on the mental dimension (P < 0.49). They also improved their reaction time scores for the nondominant hand and sway parameters in the eyes-closed position (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Regular long-term karate practice had favorable effects on mood, perception of physical health confirmed by better postural control, and improved performance on objective physical testing. Adapted karate training would be an interesting option for maintaining physical activity in aging.
Keywords: karate, balance, training, sport, aging