Effects of ballet training of children in Turkey on foot anthropometric measurements and medial longitudinal arc development

Objective: To investigate the effects of ballet training on foot structure and the formation of the medial longitudinal arc in childhood, and the association of body mass index with structural change secondary to ballet training.

Methods: This study was conducted at Öykü Ballet and Dance School and Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey, from September 2007 to November 2008, and comprised girl students who were taking ballet classes, and a group of those who were not taking such who acted as the controls. Static footprints of both feet of all participants were taken with an ink paedogram. Parameters evaluated from footprints included foot length, metatarsal width, heel width and medial longitudinal arch. The relationship between the parameters, the ballet starting age, training duration and body mass index was investigated.

Results: Of the 67 participants, there were 36(53.7%) in the experimental group and 31(48.3%) in the control group. The difference between age, height, weight and body mass index between the two groups was insignificant (p>0.05). The average ballet starting age was 6.47±1.55 years and duration was 4.36±2.002 years. Positive correlations were found between body mass index and foot length, metatarsal width, heel width, medial longitudinal arch contact width and halluxvalgus angle; between ballet starting age and metatarsal width, heel width; between duration of training and foot length, metatarsal width and hallux valgus angle (p?0.05 each).

Conclusions: Evidence supporting the education in children on foot anthropometric measurements and medial longitudinal arc development could not be found.

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