Rehabilitation Practice and Science

Translated Title



Background: Mountaineering and hiking have become popular activities recently, but related research in Taiwan has focused mainly on physiological reactions, much more than on the musculoskeletal system. However, the results of studies from abroad cannot be directly transferred because of the unique mountain and forest environment in Taiwan. In addition, chronic mountaineering injuries and derivative benefits in terms of specific physical performances still await further study. Therefore, it is important to investigate the possible relationship between mountaineering activities and musculoskeletal or knee function changes. Purpose: This study seeks to compare the differences in sports injuries, body composition and thigh muscle function in different age groups and different mountaineering experiences to explore the possible effects of mountaineering activities. Methods: A cross-sectional exploratory design was used. Eighty-four healthy males were recruited, including 41 males with regular mountaineering activities who were divided into a high-mountain group (HM) (55.6 ± 4.3 y/o) and a low-mountain group (LM) (57.2 ± 3.4 y/o), 22 age-matched men without regular exercise activities who were allotted to a no exercise group (NE) (56.8 ± 3.9 y/o), and 21 young men who were placed in a young group (YM) (24.1 ± 2.0 y/o). After signing a consent form, the participants filled out three questionnaires, a self-designed sports-related injury questionnaire, the WOMAC index and the IPAQ short version, and then underwent physical examination of body composition and knee flexors and extensors strength tests. One-way ANOVA was used to assess the continuous data of the four groups. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: The HM group had the best knee strength, and the NE group the weakest performance. Knee strength was significantly greater in the right knee flexors. Conclusion: No obvious knee injury was found in the mountaineering groups and a tendency of a decreasing aging rate was observed in knee strength. Therefore, mountaineering and hiking can probably be a recommended sport for middle-old aged men with no existing knee cartilage dysfunction.


Traditional Chinese

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