Recently, the spa has helped to treat respiratory system diseases

Recently, the spa has helped to treat respiratory system diseases, such as bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic sinusitis and pneumoconiosis (Report on the state of the environment of Lower Silesia, 1998�C2003). The difference in altitude above sea level between Polkowice (150 m) and Jedlina Zdroj (500 m) is relatively small and according to published studies (Weitz et al., 2002), should not have a significant influence on the development of the respiratory system. Lung-Function Tests Evaluation of lung function was performed using a commercial spirometer (Flowscreen, Jaeger). The following respiratory parameters were chosen for analysis: vital capacity (VC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), Tiffeneau-index (FEV1%VC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximal expiratory flow rate at 50% of FVC (MEF50) and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV).

The spirometric testing was conducted only in the sitting position. Each subject was asked to perform three satisfactory blows, defined as FVC and FEV1 agreeing within 5%, FEV1 extrapolation volume less than 100 ml or 5% of FVC, less than 50 ml expired in the final 2 s, and forced expiratory time exceeding 3 s. The best of the three blows by each child was chosen by the spirometer program, according to the guidelines of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) modified for children (American Thoracic Society, 1978; American Thoracic Society, 1996). Volume and gas calibrations were performed before each test with a 1-L syringe (3% variability was acceptable), and the results were corrected to BTPS conditions.

The recommended reference values of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) gave predictions for lung variables in children (Quanjer et al., 1993; Quanjer et al., 1995). A trained person performed the spirometric testing in all subjects. Motor Abilities Tests Motor abilities were measured with selected European Personal Fitness Tests in the following order: plate tapping test, sit and reach, standing broad jump, handgrip, and shuttle run (Eurofit 1993). All tests were performed in a gym. A non-slip surface and sport shoes were used for the running and jumping tests. The participants rested between each test. The battery of tests included the following: -Plate tapping test, which measured the speed of upper limb movements.

Participants were asked to pass, as quickly and as many times as possible, a plastic disc held by one hand over to the other, with the disc touching the flat surface of a table. -Sit-and-reach test, which measured flexibility and included reaching as far as possible from a sitting position. -Standing broad jump test, which measured explosive strength by jumping for a distance from Batimastat a standing start. -Handgrip test to measure static strength. This was achieved by squeezing a calibrated hydraulic hand dynamometer (Jamar) as forcefully as possible with the dominant hand.

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