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What Are the Physical Benefits That Swimming Provides to the High School Students at Campion?

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Problem Statement

What are the physical benefits that swimming provides to the high school students at Campion?

Purpose of Research

The purpose of researching on this topic was of my familiarity with the subject, having swum regularly and competitively for Campion thus having a fond appreciation of the sport. I also selected this topic because of my curiosity of which exact physical benefits stems from the intensive practice of swimming rather than assumptions made by the general public. In this research I intend to investigate how swimming affects each participant’s body physically and to observe other characteristics in the development. What I hope to accomplish through the research are deductions that can be relied on to make reference from regarding this specific topic and conducting a study that can be acknowledged as one with integrity, validity and reliability.

Research Objectives

  1. To find out if regular swimming assist with performing manual labour tasks
  2. To identify the noticeable changes in an individual as a result of swimming intensively
  3. To find out if there’s a relationship between how long someone has swum regularly and the noticeable changes they have underwent
  4. To deduce whether or not these noticeable changes are linked to their physical capabilities

Educational Value

My research can contribute to the community by giving people a better understanding of the sport swimming as to how it benefits the individual physically and can help to clear up any misconceptions on the topic. This study can also be useful to ones who are researching a similar topic or those who wish to take the study further. Also organisations like ASAJ, Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica, can also use this study to help market swimming by describing some of the benefits mentioned in the research

Literature Review

Swimming has been a fundamental recreational activity throughout history, with some sources dating it back to prehistoric times. It is noted that it became a competitive sport sometime around 1830 in England then spreading to the rest of Europe by the end of the 19th century. All strokes developed for the sport incorporates both the arms and legs making it a great method of rehabilitation for sore muscles and a great intensive workout exercise.

The ability to excel above others in the sport has been controversially linked to the racial profile of the individual made by individuals who observed trends of the winners’ ethnicity from championships and Olympic events. The navel is the centre of gravity of the body, and given two runners or swimmers of the same height, one black and one white, what matters is not total height but the position of the belly-button, or centre of gravity (Bejan, 2010). His research study went further on to say that Caucasian individuals have the advantage in swimming as their torsos are longer and this helps to make a bigger wave and he notes that whoever makes the bigger wave is the faster swimmer. This has been supported by other professors who opted to join in on the study to try and find an answer for this phenomenon. However, this is contradicted by the assertion made by Alia Atkinson saying that “the popular view that physical structure and muscle density has held back people of black ethnicity in the pool is a myth” (Myers, 2015). Alia, having won her world title at the Short Course Swimming Championship and equalling the record in that race disproves the popular belief that white people had an advantage in the water and the newspaper article says she insists that the physique and density of the muscles of the individual isn’t much of a factor. These conflicting views help to draw the conclusion that the swimming ability of the individual cannot be predetermined on their ethnicity alone but rather more on their technique and strength.

When attention goes to the individual’s strength and technique, it can be noted that some physical difference can be seen among those who swim competitively. Swimming is a sport that excels in toning the arms and legs, giving visible results after intense sessions of working out (Baker, 2013). Similarly the same idea is present in this Gleaner article dated July 07, 2009 stating that “Swimming works your whole body, improving cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, posture, balance, and flexibility all at the same time”. These results stem from the fact that swimming employs nearly all the muscles present in the body, allowing for each muscle to be strengthened accordingly for example the pectoral, bicep, triceps and quadriceps muscles. Also, the resistance the water possesses is beneficial to muscle toning, building and strengthening as it is higher than that of air. Swimming is a tough workout as the water is 784 times denser than air, making it 12x times more resistant than water (Smith). Another author, Richard Weil, agreed with this statement saying that “Since water is 784 times denser than air, it takes much more calories to swim than to run”. The arms and chest especially increases in size as they are the most worked body parts in the exercise, making them more worn down than any other body part. The arms get the most of the workout since it’s used the most among all 4 strokes (Francis).

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