Selected behaviors and health awareness of athletes practicing martial arts
Nowak, Maria Alicja
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Introduction. The aim of the research was to find the answers to the questions of: which health-related behaviors are displayed by martial arts athletes, especially by champions, and what relationships there are between their health-related behaviors and their perception of health-threatening factors. Material and methods. The study (between 2009 and 2011)involved 134 athletes practicing martial arts. The diagnostic survey method was employed, with the use of the questionnaire technique.In the statistical examination of the results the trait frequency, the χ 2 independence test, and the multiple correspondence analysis were employed. Results. Most athletes did not smoke (83.6%). The athletes practicing taekwondo declared consumption of alcoholic beverages (85.7%), while those practicing wrestling were most often non-drinkers (87.0%) (p=0.0000). Athletes with the highest sporting level (champions) mostly did not smoke (93.3%) and abstained from drinking alcoholic beverages (59.1%). It was observed that those who regularly smoked more often failed to perceive tobacco consumption as a health risk (92.3%) (p=0.0000). Athletes who frequently drank alcoholic beverages did not see this behavior as dangerous to their health (41.7%) (p=0.0000). Conclusions. Athletes who display health-oriented behaviors are highly aware of smoking and frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages being health-threatening factors. In reducing the risk factors related to smoking and frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages, martial arts—based on a specific philosophy and lifestyle that requires a reflective attitude towards one’s own conduct and respecting the rules of fair play—should become a means of developing health-oriented behaviors among youth.
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