Reference value for the six-minute peg board and ring test. A cross sectional study
Introduction: In our daily life, arm activities, whether supported or unsupported play a major role. Both simple and omplex activities require the muscles, namely trapezius, pectoralis minor, scalene, and intercostals, to participate in arm positioning. These muscles also enact as the accessory respiratory muscles. Therefore, arm elevation increases the load on these muscles and they fail to perform dual activities, resulting in arm fatigue and a feeling of dyspnoea in healthy individuals as well as in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Various upper limb exercise tests were designed to measure this impairment, one of them being the six-minute peg board and ring test. The aim of the study is to derive a reference value for the six-minute peg board and ring test among healthy Indian population (Mangalore) from the age of 20-70 years of either gender. Also, to find a correlation among the number of rings and body mass index, arm length, arm and forearm circumference, the strength of shoulder and elbow flexors-extensors, grip strength of both sides and level of physical activity.
Methods: Participants performed two tests, thirty minutes apart. They were asked to load as many rings as possible in 6 minutes. Arm length, arm and forearm circumference were measured with a measuring tape. Shoulder and elbow flexors-extensors were assessed using a handheld push-pull dynamometer. Grip strength was measured with the Jamar hand-held dynamometer. Level of physical activity was assessed using International Physical Activity Questionnaire long form.
Results: The samples consisted of 450 healthy individuals between the age of 20-70 years. Reference values for each age group for both genders were reported. We found that age was correlated with the six-minute peg board and ring test score (p<0.05). We also found a correlation between the strength variables and the test results (p=0.001). However, no correlation was found between the arm length, arm and forearm circumference and the level of physical activity with the number of rings.
Conclusion: In this study, we derived a reference value for the six-minute peg board and ring test. There was a correlation amongn age, strength variables and the number of rings.
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