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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
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Assessment of Anthropometric Factors on Balance Tests in Children.

Habib, Zehra PhD, PT; Westcott, Sarah PhD, PT

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Abstract

The effect of anthropometric factors (height [HT], weight [WT], and base of support [BOS]), on balance tests were studied. One hundred eighty children without disability, residing in Karachi, Pakistan, participated: 20 at each year of age between five and 13 years. The Functional Reach Test (FRT), Timed Up and Go (TUG), Running Speed and Agility (RSA), and Balance (BA) subtests of the Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP) were administered. Height, weight, and base of support were measured. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses determined the contribution of anthropometric factors to balance ability with age factored out. Base of support predicted FRT scores, when all subjects were considered together. Height predicted performance in the FRT, TUG, and RSA, in younger children. Height also predicted TUG scores in older children. Weight predicted RSA scores. Results suggest that early maturing children who are taller will have better FRT, RSA, and TUG scores than those who are not, in young children. When comparing children on these tests, scores should be adjusted for height. Clinically, base of support should also be measured to adjust FRT results.

(C) Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.

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