BACKGROUND: Health characteristics of marching band participants are largely ignored, except for the substantial contribution to daily physical activity (PA) (Cowen, 2006). This study examines differences in health characteristics between collegiate marching band members and the general public.METHODS: Participants were members of a marching band (n=32). Body composition, and total, spinal, and leg bone mineral density (BMD) was determined via DXA. Anthropometry (height, weight, waist circumference) and blood pressure (BP) was assessed. This sample was contrasted with curated NHANES (2017-2018) data to match band demographics, race, and ethnicity. T-tests and X2 analyses were used. RESULTS: Mean BMI of band members was overweight (26.7 ± 6.7 kg/m2) but mean waist circumference was healthy (84.0 ± 15.6 for men and 82.6 ± 12.9 for women). Both systolic and diastolic BP were considered normotensive (118.2±13.2 mmHg, 73.0±11.6 mmHg, respectively). No significant differences emerged when considering location-specific BMDs, BMI, or WC. Significant differences were observed in systolic BP (118.2±13.2 vs. 112.7±10.0, p<0.05), diastolic BP (73.0±11.6 vs. 64.7±9.2, p<0.05).CONCLUSION: Few differences were found between marching band members and NHANES data. BP was higher in band members, which suggests regular BP screening for marching band members may be useful.

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