The long-term effects of stand-up paddle boarding: a case study

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Schram, B, Hing, WF & Climstein, M 2017, 'The long-term effects of stand-up paddle boarding: a case study', International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



Introduction: The association between inactivity and poor quality of life has been well documented. A major barrier to exercise is a perceived lack of time and lack of enjoyment of exercise modalities. Stand up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is an aquatic physical activity deemed easy to learn, enjoyable with a reported multitude of both physiological and psychological benefits. The long-term effects of participation in SUP however are unclear.

Case presentation: Two middle-aged participants (1 male, 58 yrs and 1 female, 58 yrs) over one year after continual SUP training. Participants were assessed for mass, Body Composition (BIA) and aerobic fitness, trunk muscle endurance using prone, side bridging and the Biering Sorensen and a self-rated quality of life questionnaire (WHO QoLBREF). Results: After 12 months, the male lost 6.8 kg (- 8.0%), decreased his body fat by 5% (Baseline level = 27.1%-Week 52 = 23.7%), and reduced his BMI by 7.34%. The female lost 3.7 kg (- 6.5%), had a 6.6% decrease in body fat (Baseline level = 27.1%-Week 52 = 21.5%) and reduced her BMI by 13.3%. Trunk muscle endurance improved by 70% overall in the male and 147.5% overall in the female. Aerobic fitness improved by 25.0% in the male (+ 5.5 ml/kg/min) and 42.3% in the female (+ 12.2 ml/kg/min). Self-rated quality of life improved in the male 84.1%, 33.9%, 50.0%, and 28.6% and in the female by 17.4%, 33.9%, 25.3% and 27.5% in the physical, psychological, social relationships and environment domains respectively.

Discussion: Long-term participation in SUP appears to be associated with improvements in overall mass, body composition, aerobic fitness, trunk muscle endurance and self-rated quality of life. Given the documented long-term physiological, musculoskeletal and psychological effects of SUP and its relative ease and accessibility, it appears to be a novel but beneficial exercise tool, which could be promoted for its wide range of positive health and fitness effects

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