Most of you may have played freeze tag or hopscotch in your childhood. These games are a super efficient way to build your balance and strength. In sports, the improvement of dynamic balance can enhance athletic performances, including vertical jump, shuttle run, and downhill skiing. Generally, sports phenotypes are divided into explosive power, endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, and neuromuscular coordination. Overall, 120 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) are associated with athletes’ athletic performance. Among these SNPs, 77 are classified as endurance propensity and 43 or explosive/power propensity. But the genetic basis of balance remains unclear in sports genomics.
The transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD) gene, which encodes a nuclear hormone receptor PPARδ, is among the hottest studied in sports genetics. Functional studies suggested that the PPARD gene was involved in muscle development and adaptive response to fitness training. In addition, large cohort studies have shown that the PPARD gene is associated with overall athletic performance in the Polish population and athletes’ skiing triumph in the Russian population, in which dynamic balance plays a crucial role. In this study, researchers hypothesized that the PPARD gene might contribute to the individual variance of dynamic balance performance and tried to figure out how it could influence dynamic balance performance.
2,244 Han Chinese children were recruited to investigate the relationship between their balance beam performance and five polymorphisms in the PPARD gene. The performance of walking through the balance beam (3 meters long, 10 centimeters wide, and 30 centimeters high) was to evaluate children's dynamic balance performance. The study looked like this—when the children heard start, they proceeded as fast as possible with their arms lifted, the time and velocity was calculated. Since a previous study observed correlations between measures of dynamic balance and lower-extremity maximal strength in healthy individuals across the life- span, vertical jump height representing maximal strength, was also measured. The Vertec apparatus was used to measure vertical jump height. It was of steel frame construction with horizontal vanes, which were rotated out of the way by the hand to indicate the height reached. Results showed statistically significant relationships between rs2267668 and dynamic balance. Furthermore, the G allele of rs2267668 had a favorable effect on dynamic balance in both genders, and the polymorphism influenced dynamic balance performance rather than lower-extremity maximal strength.
In conclusion, The G allele of rs2267668 showed better dynamic balance performance in Chinese children in this study. But the effect of the rs2267668 site still needs further investigation from experiments. Read more about the study here:
Are you interested in learning more about your genetic tendency for dynamic balance performance? You can log in to your Genomelink TRAITS to see this new genetic trait.