The research problem is the lack of consensus among physical education and fitness experts on the need to include stretching exercises as a compulsory physical activity for practically healthy young people. Traditionally, special stretching techniques have been used to maintain and develop flexibility as an important component of physical health, which explains the position that they should be included in weekly physical activity. The opposite position is that flexibility is perfectly developed and maintained through more healthful types of physical activity. In order to substantiate the validity of one or the other position, a study was conducted on the relationship between physical activity volume and the hamstring flexibility in university students.
Materials and methods of the research. Male students (n = 17) fulfilling the inclusion criteria participated in the correlational study. Examinees underwent procedures to measure anthropometric characteristics, physical activity through a short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) and hamstring flexibility using the Active Knee Extension Test (AKET) with a smartphone accelerometer as a sensor to record changes in joint angle.
Research results and their discussion. It was found that there was a significant correlation between the total amount of physical activity of students and the hamstring flexibility. The duration of sitting for a week was not associated with flexibility.
Conclusion. The findings provide further support for the position that it is not strictly necessary to include stretching as a mandatory component of physical activity for university students to maintain and develop hamstring flexibility outside of a rehabilitation context, provided there is varied and sufficient physical activity.
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