The Effects of Obstacles and Age on Walking Time Within a Course and on a Balance Beam in Preschool Boys

DOI: 10.4236/ape.2012.22009   PDF   HTML     4,135 Downloads   7,731 Views   Citations


This study aimed to examine the effect of obstacles and age on walking time within a course (10 cm width) and on a balance beam in 158 preschool boys, aged 4 (47), 5 (50), and 6 (61) years. An obstacle 5 or 10 cm in height (depth, 11.5 cm and width, 23.5 cm) was placed at the halfway point of the course drawn on the floor and on the balance beam (200 cm in length, 10 cm in width and 30 cm in height). Children walked to the end and returned to the original position as fast as possible within the above course and on the balance beam under three conditions: low, and high, and no obstacle. Walking time was measured for each condition. Subjects in all age groups were able to walk within a course significantly faster than on the balance beam; in the former test, boys aged 4 to 4.5 years were slower than boys aged 5.5 to 6 years as well as the 6-year-olds, and boys aged 4.5 to 5 years were slower than 6-year-olds; in the latter test, the boys aged 4 to 4.5 years were slower than boys aged 4.5 to 5 years, 5 years and 6 years, the boys aged 4.5 to 5 years were slower than 5-year-olds and 6-year-old boys, and the 5-year-old boys were slower than the 6-year-olds. Walking times under all obstacle conditions were longer in 4-year-old boys than in the 5 and 6-year-old boys, longer in boys aged 5 to 5.5 years than in the 6-year-olds, and longer in boys aged 5.5 to 6 years than in the 6-year-olds. Walking times within the course was shorter than those on the balance beam under all obstacle conditions. In addition, walking times both in the course and on the balance beam were shorter in the following order: no obstacle (shortest); low obstacle; high obstacle (longest). In conclusion, in-course walking is faster than balance beam walking regardless of age or the presence of an obstacle. Furthermore, improvements in the ability to complete both of these walking tasks may differ with age.

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Kasuga, K. , Demura, S. , Aoki, H. , Sato, T. , Shin, S. & Kawabata, H. (2012). The Effects of Obstacles and Age on Walking Time Within a Course and on a Balance Beam in Preschool Boys. Advances in Physical Education, 2, 49-53. doi: 10.4236/ape.2012.22009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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