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Open access

Bartłomiej Sokołowski and Maria Chrzanowska

Development of Selected Motor Skills in Boys and Girls in Relation to Their Rate of Maturation - A Longitudinal Study

Purpose. The aim of this study was to examine the process of how motor skills were developed and shaped in boys and girls in relation to their rate of maturation, based on the use of peak height velocity (PHV), which measures biological maturity. Methods. This study made use of a longitudinal study researching the physical fitness of boys and girls from Kraków, Poland during the years 1980-1990. From the original sample population, 296 boys and 196 girls were selected for further analysis. Physical fitness tests were administered over the subsequent decade, measuring the following motor skills: speed, explosive strength of the lower limbs, static strength of the right and left hand, agility, dynamic strength of the abdominal muscles, static endurance of the upper limbs and shoulders, and flexibility. On the basis of the median and PHV age quartiles for both sexes, the examined individuals were divided into two cohorts: early maturers and late maturers. The mean values and standard deviations of the physical fitness test results were calculated based on biological age. Afterwards, the means and standard deviations of each tested motor skill of the early maturers were standardized into means and standard deviations of the late maturers. Results. The motor skills best performed in all age groups and in both sexes by early maturers were in tests of static strength of the hands. In the group of boys, early maturers in all age groups also performed the best in tests of speed and explosive strength of the lower limbs. Late-maturing girls were positively differentiated in each age group in tests of static strength of the upper limbs and shoulders, and in the dynamic strength of the abdominal muscles. Conclusions. The rate of maturation was found to significantly influence the results of fitness tests, particularly in the case of boys.

Open access

Janusz Brudecki and Maria Chrzanowska


Measurement of body weight, height, waist and hip circumference is a standard procedure that allows to better define the risk of metabolic syndrome.

The aim of the study is to determine the usefulness of anthropometric indicators such as BMI, WC (waist circumference), WHR, WHtR and percentage of body fat to predict the metabolic cardiovascular risk in the adult male population of Krakow, as well as an attempt to determine the metabolic cardiovascular risk with the original anthropometric risk index.

The study included 405 men from the population working in the T. Sendzimir Steelworks in Kraków at the age of 30-69 years. Anthropometric measurements: body height measured to the nearest mm, circuits (waist, hips) measured to the nearest centimetre, the percentage of fat (the type of electronic scales Tanita BF 300) measured according to the standard protocol by the same technician and biomedical indicators assessing the functional status of organism, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, glucose and blood pressure measured with a mercury manometer.

As a measure of goodness of fit for the indices of risk (and their components), the AUC method was used for the ROC curves to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic test.

The results show that significant in predicting the risk of metabolic syndrome are not only standard anthropometric measurements specified in the standards of WHO, EGIR, NCEP and IDF. In addition, it is important to take into account the amount of fat and calculate the cumulative risk index based on all relevant measurements and indicators.

Open access

Elżbieta Puch, Marta Krenz-Niedbała and Maria Chrzanowska

Body height differentiation by season of birth: Girls from Cracow, Poland

Published studies world wide demonstrate that measures of human development and health status vary depending on the month of birth but these patterns are not always consistent and sometimes even conflict. Direct factors related to the birth season that may significantly differentiate morphological and functional traits and mechanisms causing these relations have not been found so far. On the basis of cross-sectional material, gathered in the years 1983 and 2000 by the Department of Anthropology of the Academy of Physical Education in Cracow, two main hypotheses have been verified: (1) average body height differences by month of birth are statistically insignificant, (2) the magnitude of these differences does not change with time. Metric data of 4672 girls aged 5-18 years, born in 1965-1978 and 1982-1995, were used. The total sample was also subdivided into prepubertal (5-9 years) and adolescent (10-18 years) groups. The age of the individuals was calculated to the nearest day and the procedure of standardization on the interpolated values of regional norms was applied. A highly significant relationship between the birth month and average values of height was revealed in preadolescent girls. The results obtained for the entire material proved insignificant. The patterns of the month-of-birth effect on body height for girls born in 60./70. and 80./90. show high similarity, though the effect seems weaker in the latter sample. Winter proved to be the most favorable birth season for later body height.

Open access

Xymena Połomska, Maria Wojtatowicz, Barbara Zarowska, Marek Szołtysik and Józefa Chrzanowska

Freeze-Drying Preservation of Yeast Adjunct Cultures for Cheese Production

Four yeast strains: Yarrowia lipolytica PII6a, Candida famata MI1a, C. kefyr PII1b, C. sphaerica FII7a, adjunct cultures for cheese production were preserved by freeze-drying. The effect of process parameters and cryoprotective agents on cell survival and stability of growth characteristics was evaluated. Among three lyophilisation protocols, the process with three-step drying at temperatures of -38°C, -20°C and -10°C assured the highest cell viability. The survival of yeast strains in the presence of multicomponent cryoprotective agents containing skimmed milk, trehalose and sodium glutamate in three combinations (MT, MG, MTG) was significantly higher than in the presence of those agents used alone. The best agent for Y. lipolytica, C. kefyr and C. sphaerica appeared to be MT, while for C. famata - MG. Cell viability of yeast strains directly after freeze-drying was in the range of 74-80% and was relatively stable during one-year storage except C. famata. Initial yeast growth patterns were very well preserved in most of the preparations during 6 months of storage.