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Informing wobble-board training and assessment through an investigation of the effect of biological-sex, anthropometrics, footwear and dual-tasking in young adults.

BACKGROUND: Despite wobble boards use being common in physiotherapy the effect of certain factors, essential to clinical reasoning, have not been investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of biological sex, anthropometrics, footwear and dual tasking (DT) on wobble board balance performance.

METHODS: Eighty-six healthy participants (44 females) had their wobble board performance measured during double-leg-stance (DLS) with eyes open (DLSEO), closed (DLSEC) and single-leg-stance (SLS) tasks, with and without footwear and a DT added. Anthropometrics were also measured.

RESULTS: Females outperformed males during most tasks, with some large effect sizes (ES). Performance was moderately related to weight and shoulder, waist and hip circumference. Overall, there were no differences between footwear and no footwear, except for males during SLS. DT made little difference, except during DLSEO and SLS, where single task was better than DT, though only females had a large ES.

CONCLUSION: During wobble board tasks, biological sex differences were observed and a modest correlation between anthropometrics and performance noted. DT and footwear had minimal effect.

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