Anthropometric characteristics of the young Czech population and their relationship to the national sports potential
Keywords:ANTHROPOMETRY, SECULAR TREND OF BODY HEIGHT, BODY PROPORTIONS, SPORTS TALENT SELECTION
AbstractAnthropometric characteristics of young Czech men and women haven’t been measured since 2001, due to the cancellation of the traditional anthropological survey in 2011. The project “Physical activity in the Czech republic” thus offered an opportunity to fill this gap and add some useful information about another physical features of the Czech population that usualy aren’t addressed in anthropological studies. The investigated sample in the youngest age cohort (18-29 years) included 142 men and 137 women, and consisted of volunteers, who were measured during various public actions (primarily in Southern Moravia) during 2011-2012. Although the number of studied individuals was relatively small, their average height (181.0±6.2 cm in men and 168.8±6.7 in women) fits favourably the long-term trends of the secular height increase and confirms that Czech men and women belong to the very tallest in the world. Furthermore, the documented values of relative sitting height (52.63% in men, 53.38% in women) and relative arm span (101.46% in men, 99.23% in women) indicate that the Czech population can be viewed as short-limbed, when compared with other European nations. Considering that the average BMI of Czech national team members at Summer Olympics is consistently moderately above-average in comparison with other Europeans, it can be concluded that Czech men and women are physically well endowed mainly for strength sports of a more dynamic nature, where height is an important performance factor. These observations can have fundamental implications for the development and funding of talent programs, because they enable to target specific sports, whose requirements best correspond with the body type present in the Czech population.
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