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Open access

Elżbieta Olszewska and Teresa Łaska-Mierzejewska

Unemployment in the Polish countryside and its effect on the development and rate of maturation of rural girls

The aim of this study is to assess the biological status of girls from landless rural families - daughters of working fathers, and those of unemployed fathers. The measures include age at menarche, body height and weight, and the body mass index (BMI). The study of rural girls was conducted in 2001; a total of 9599 girls aged 9-18 were examined. The material used in the present article only embraces girls from non-farming rural families (N = 4476). It was divided into daughters of working fathers (86.5%) and those of unemployed fathers (13.5%). Daughters of working fathers mature earlier than those of unemployed fathers. The difference in the age at menarche is 0.39 years and is statistically significant. The age at menarche of daughters of unemployed fathers approximates the menarchal age of daughters from farming families with many children (5 or more) in which both parents have elementary education. In groups similar in terms of the father's education and the number of children in the family, daughters of unemployed fathers display a later age at menarche and a lower body height and weight. These results support the statement that a father's lack of employment affects the biological status of his daughters.

Open access

Elżbieta Olszewska, Piotr Tabor and Renata Czarniecka

Summary

Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of contractures of selected muscle groups with respect to the magnitude of the physiological curvatures of the spine in young men with above-average levels of physical activity.

Material and methods: The study included 96 students at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw aged between 20 and 22 years (21.2 ± 1.05). Ninety-five percent of the students participated in sports training activities. The study was conducted between January and February 2016. The selected traits of the body posture were evaluated with an inclinometer, which was used to measure the inclination angles of sections of the spine relative to the vertical. The ranges of motion in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex were measured with a goniometer. Values of 175º (for the shoulder complex) and 174° (for the hip joint) were assumed to indicate a decreased range of motion.

Results: The analysis of the individual results concerning mobility disorders in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex revealed significant abnormalities in the researched group of students. About 90% of the study participants showed contrac­tures of selected muscle groups within the shoulder girdle, primarily in the right upper limb. Similar results were obtained for the incidence of contractures in the flexors of the hip joint. Flexion contractures in the hip joint were observed in around 84% of the participants, primarily in the left lower limb. The correlations between the inclination angles of the sections of the spine relative to the vertical and the ranges of motion in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex, established using Pearson correlation coefficients, were ambiguous. The angles γ, β1 and α were inversely proportional to the range of raising motions of the upper limbs through flexion, where the correlation coefficients of all angles were statistically significant. Similar tendencies were observed for the correlations between the angles β2, β1 and α and the range of the extension movements at the hip joint, although the correlation coefficients were statistically significant only in the case of the angle β1.

Conclusions: Ranges of movement in the shoulder complex and pelvic complex have an influence on magnitude of physiologi­cal curvatures of the spine and the functioning of body posture.

Open access

Elżbieta Morycowa and Barbara Olszewska

Abstract

The paper deals with benthic foraminifera occurring with the scleractinian corals in the Jurassic biohermal and peribiohermal coral-bearing limestones of the Vršatec area (Czorsztyn Succession, Slovak Pieniny Klippen Belt). The coral community is dominated by branching forms of the genus Thecosmilia. Co-occurring abundant benthic foraminifera belong to the species Rumanolina seiboldi, R. elevata, Paalzowella turbinella and Troglotella incrustans. The coral-bearing limestones were initially assigned to the Oxfordian on the basis of the microfacies analyses and bivalve and scleractinian faunas. In recent papers they are assigned to the Bajocian on the basis of ammonites found in the neptunic dykes and stratigraphic superimposition criteria. However, the stratigraphic distribution of the majority of the identified foraminifera indicates that like most scleractinian coral taxa they are not known earlier than in the Late Jurassic. The Late Jurassic age of these coral-bearing limestones is also suggested by an encrusting microproblematic organism Iberopora bodeuri.

Open access

Dorota Trzcińska, Dorota Świderska, Piotr Tabor and Elżbieta Olszewska

Abstract

Introduction. Body posture is a somatic characteristic essential for the biological development of the child, especially in the periods of rapid growth and those associated with changes in lifestyle. Its lability and dimorphic and ontogenetic variability cause a lot of controversy. Doubts are also raised by environmental diversity of this development feature. Hence, the purpose of the studies undertaken is the comparative evaluation of postures of six-year-old children in urban and rural areas. Material and methods. The study was conducted in 2011-2013. A total of 1057 children, including the 371 boys and girls from the Warsaw agglomeration and 147 boys and 168 girls from the rural environment in the Lublin region were subjects of the study. The average age was 5.87 (± 0.30) years. Posture in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes was diagnosed by a visual method using scanning technique. In the mathematical analysis of numerical data the selected techniques of descriptive statistics and Student's t-test and chi-square test were used. Results. The differences in body posture between the environments in favor of the children from the rural areas emerged most strongly in the sagittal plane. They related to posture components such as: setting of the shoulders and shoulder blades (boys and girls), abdominal bulge (boys) and the position of the head (girls). In the assessment of the lower extremities the study demonstrated favorable condition knees in rural children as compared with their peers from the city. The only element of posture better shaped in the urban subgroup was the size of thoracic kyphosis. Conclusions. Established posture quality - treated as one of the positive measures of health - allows for a higher rating of this school readiness component in lowly urbanized residential areas. The complexity of posture diagnostics and lability and variability of the analyzed somatic characteristics dictate caution in formulating radical and definitive opinions on the importance of urbanization as posturogenesis condition.

Open access

Teresa Łaska-Mierzejewska, Janusz Dobosz, Sylwia Nowacka-Dobosz, Elżbieta Olszewska and Adam Wilczewski

Abstract

The aim of the study is to present social distances in biological development of youth in the period of changes in economic and political situation in Poland.

Material and methods: 1. Nationwide study of children and adolescents aged 7.5 to 19.5 years started in 1979 and repeated every decade till 2009, 2. Survey conducted in the region of eastern Poland in 1987 and 2007, 3. Study of rural girls repeated four times between 1967 and 2001. The differences in body height and age at menarche between the inhabitants of towns and rural areas, as well as the differences between rural girls determined by diversified source of income for the family, will be presented. The age at menarche (AM) in each study was calculated using probit method. A monotonic decrease in body height differences between the inhabitants of towns, and girls living in rural areas was observed. On the basis of nationwide studies arithmetic means of the differences in terms of age were 1.9 cm in 1979 and 0.82 in 2009. At the same time, differences in the AM among girls in compared agglomerations decreased from 0.36 to 0.26, respectively. In eastern region of Poland the difference in body height between the residents of towns and villages in 1987 was 1.76 cm, and in 2007, only 0.38 cm; the difference of AM decreased from 0.41 to 0.14 years.

The research conducted on inhabitants of rural areas has shown the earliest maturation and slightly greater body height for girls from landless families and the latest maturation and the smallest body height for the daughters of farmers. The differences in AM between the two groups decreased from 0.53 years in 1967 to 0.15 in 2001.

The political transformation (1989) unequally influenced people on different levels of urbanization, different socio-professional groups and residents of various regions of the country, but was reflected in the results of anthropological research.

The largest social advancement measured in terms of acceleration of maturation in the period covered by the research was characteristic for rural girls, especially the daughters of farmers.

Open access

Dorota Trzcińska, Dorota Świderska, Piotr Tabor and Elżbieta Olszewska

Abstract

Introduction. In the auxologic literature numerous publications confirming the importance of environmental factors for the biological processes of growth and development of motor skills of children and adolescents can be found. The aim of the study was a comparative assessment of the level of somatic development and physical fitness of six-year-old children in urban and rural areas. Material and methods. The study was conducted in 2011-2013. A total of 1,057 children, including the 371 boys and girls from the Warsaw agglomeration and 147 boys and 168 girls from the rural environment in the Lublin region were subjects of the study. The average age was 5.87 (±0.30) years. In order to determine the status of somatic development the following features were measured: height and weight, 3 circumferences (shoulder, chest and waist), and 5 skinfolds (above the biceps and triceps, subscapular, on the stomach and on the calf). To assess the motor level the fitness test was used, consisting of the 5 following tests: seated forward bend, shuttle run 10x5 m, standing long jump, sitting-up for 30 s, and 1 kg medicine ball throw with both hands above the head forward. In the mathematical analysis of numerical data the selected techniques of descriptive statistics and Student's t-test and chisquare test were used. Results. Average values of height and weight, and body circumferences were higher in the rural areas (in these measurements of boys' body weight and broad parameters differed significantly). In environments differing in the degree of urbanization of place of residence a similar level of fatness was reported. In the most tests of physical fitness better results were achieved by rural children. This dominance was found especially in the 10x5 m shuttle run and the medicine ball throw. In these tests, there were significant differences in both sex groups. In addition, rural boys achieved significantly better results in the standing long jump and girls - in forward bend. Conclusions. The presence of signaled in the literature urbanization gradients in the rates of somatic development in favor of the urban population was not confirmed. In terms of selected anthropometric parameters (body circumferences) even a significant advantage of six-year-old children in rural areas against the peers in the city was noted. Dominance of the respondents from the rural environment has also been found in the image of their physical fitness. Higher levels of somatic-motor school readiness of six-year-old children from rural areas as compared with urban peers were shown.

Open access

Teresa Łaska-Mierzejewska and Elżbieta Olszewska

Abstract

The analysis covered girls, aged 9-18, from farmer, farmer-worker and non-farmer rural families inhabiting 4 regions of Poland. Additionally, parents’ education, number of children per family and the wealth of the family were recorded. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of social stratification of the rural population, the economic crisis (1978-1989) and political and economic transition (1989) on the girls’ biological maturation. Age at menarche and body height were used as biological measures of living conditions. In the period 1967-1977 a marked acceleration in maturation and a significant increase in average body height were noted. The study repeated in 1987 demonstrated negative effects of the economic crisis (1977-1989). Research findings from 2001, after the political system transformation, provide evidence ‘compensating for losses’ recorded in girls’ biological condition during the crisis. The diversity of biogeographic and socioeconomic conditions of rural inhabitants in the studied regions is reflected in a marked diversification in age of menarche and body height.

Open access

Dorota Trzcińska, Piotr Tabor and Elżbieta Olszewska

Abstract

Introduction. Physical activity and physical fitness are among the positive measures of health. Their assessment is justified from the point of view of prevention of many civilization diseases. The aim of this paper is to describe the physical activity of six year old children in Warsaw and to determine its relationship to physical fitness. Material and methods. The study was conducted in two series - in the spring of 2011 and 2012. Data were collected for 742 children from selected pre-school institutions in Warsaw. The average age of the children born in 2005 (2011 edition) and 2006 (2012 edition) was 5.84 ± 0.31 years. The numbers in both categories were equal, and amounted to 371 girls and boys. The choice of educational institutions was such, as to ensure that the sample was representative. In order to assess the children's physical activity, the method of diagnostic survey was used (questionnaire). The questionnaire addressed to the parents included questions about the participation of their children in pre-school, extracurricular and family forms of physical activity and the amount of time spent on passive leisure activities. To evaluate the physical fitness we used a test consisting of five motor trials (bend while sitting down, sit up from the lying position 30 s, long jump from stationary position, run 10x5 m, 1 kg medicine ball throw forward). Mathematical analysis of the material utilised selected methods of descriptive statis- 2 tics (including cluster analysis), standardization of data and the χ2 test. Results. In the both gender subgroups three clusters were formed, corresponding to the above-average, average, and reduced physical fitness. Parents of children with the highest level of motor skills often declared significant participation of their children in family and extracurricular forms of physical activity and less time spent in front of TV or computer. Conclusions. In the population of six year old children in Warsaw positive relationship were found between the claimed physical activity and physical fitness