College students tend to gain weight and increase body fat percentage (BF%) during their four academic years. Cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies are starting to highlight the importance of body composition and its correlation to a decrease in joint health. While the Upper Quarter Y-Balance Test (UQYBT) has been proven to be a reliable tool to measure upper extremity joint mobility and stability in young healthy individuals. Past research has failed to account for physiological differences in body composition and body size of college students. The UQYBT in its current format might not be ideal for overweight individuals since it requires isometric strength to support body weight. PURPOSE: To investigate the relation between BF% of college students with their performance in three UQYBT variations. METHODS: Twenty college students (24.5±6.7 years, 1.69±0.06 m, 69.8±12.1 kg) 11 females and nine males participated in this study. Body fat percentage was collected using handheld BIA prior to testing, followed by five minutes upper extremity warm-up on an arm ergometer. All participants successfully performed the Standard (traditional push-up position), Modified (modified push-up position), and Wall (standing erect) UQYBT variations. Participants max scores of the three reaches (medial, inferolateral, and superolateral) were collected and composite scores were calculated. A Pearson correlation analysis was performed between the reaches scores in each of the UQYBT variations and BF%. Significance level was set to .05. RESULTS: Body fat percentage was found to be 20.8±7.5%. Moderate negative correlation were found between BF% and the max absolute scores in Standard UQYBT medial reach (r=-.33), inferolateral reach (r=-.34), superolateral reach (r=-.40), and in Modified UQYBT superolateral reach (r=-.39). In contrast, moderate to strong positive correlation were found between BF% and the max relative scores in Wall UQYBT inferolateral reach (r=.54), superolateral (r=.48), and composite score (r=.52). In addition, moderate positive correlation was found between BF% and the max absolute scores in Wall UQYBT inferolateral reach (r=.32). CONCLUSION: Our findings identify differences between the three UQYBT variations and BF%. When the participant carries his body weight in the traditional or modify push-up position the correlation is negative, which means that the heavier you are the lower your reach score will be. On the contrary, when performing UQYBT in a standing position the correlation between the BF% and the reach scores were positive. This could be related to gender differences or differences in upper body range of motion. Future studies need to examine gender differences and range of motion of upper body with respect to UQYBT.



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