University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Title: Cardio-respiratory fitness of national level teenage swimmers in Sri Lanka
TDMSB Dassanayake has read for his MPhill degree in Anthopometry and exercise science from 2012 to 2014 at University of Peradeniya. He is currently working as a lecturer at Allied Health Sciences Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo and the coordinator of the clinical stream of the BSc physiotherapy degree program. He has published several research works being the initiatives of the Physiotherapy degree program in Sri Lanka. He serves as an advisor to PhysioBD magazine Bangladesh.
Swimming is known to be a popular exercise that can be used to develop cardiovascular fitness. At present lack of cardio respiratory endurance in individuals had become a burning problem which is leading to complicated heath problems. This study was conducted with the objective of assessing and comparing the differences in cardio-vascular fitness of national level teenage swimmers and non swimmers as it was important to determine cardio respiratory endurance from the child hood. 50 male and 54 female teenage swimmers (age 13-19 years) who qualified for the School Nationals Meet and similar numbers of controls (age, sex and geographical area matched) were recruited for the study. All participants rode a standard Monark cycle ergometer at a given work load for a period of 6 minutes and using a modified Astrand-Rhyming nomogram the VO2max of the subjects was predicted from the submaximal pulse rate and the work load. Male swimmers had a significantly higher (p=0.0001) VO2max (47.9 ml/kg/min) than the male controls (31.7 ml/kg/min). There was also a significant (p=0.0001) difference in VO2max between female swimmers and female controls (27.7ml/kg/min). Further the value for VO2max is below the teenagers required for athletes and in controls those values were well below. We conclude that the swimmers have a better VO2max compared to non-swimmers and those values are not up to the required range which may increase cardiovascular disease risk in future life especially in non swimmers. Therefore, we recommend that swimming be used as a sport to improve cardio-vascular fitness in athletes.