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Frank, M, Zhou, S, Bezerra, P & Crowley, Z 2009, 'Effects of long-term recreational surfing on control of force and posture in older surfers: a preliminary investigation', Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 31-38.

The abstract and pdf of the published article reproduced in ePublications@SCU with the permission of Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness.


Surfing has become a popular sport activity in Australia and many other countries since 1960’s. The first generation of surfers is now older than 60 years of age while many of them still surf regularly. Limited information is available in respect of the long-term physiological adaptations of participating in surfing. The aim of this study was to provide evidence on the effects of long-term surfing on neuromuscular function as compared to age-matched non-surfers. Eleven male surfers who had participated in surfing for at least 40 years volunteered for the study. A group of the age-matched and physically active men (n = 11) were recruited as the control. The physiological variables measured included maximal isometric voluntary contraction force (MVC), rate of force development, steadiness in muscle force production (knee extensors and flexors, and ankle dorsi- and plantar flexors) at 5, 15 and 25%MVC levels, joint position sense, and body sway in standing position under four different conditions: eye open or close and on hard or soft surface. The results indicated that older surfers had significantly lower muscle force fluctuations than the control subjects in the steadiness tests. The surfers also showed less postural sway in standing position with eye closed and on soft surface. The findings from this preliminary investigation suggest that long-term recreational surfing may cause specific adaptations that benefit participants by maintaining or improving their neuromuscular function which would ultimately lead to improved quality of life.

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