Physical Fitness And Digit Ratio (2D:4D) In Male Students From Wrocław, Poland
There is sex-difference in humans as regards aerobic efficiency, physical strength and endurance and the sex difference is greatly dependent upon differential concentration of testosterone during different phases of growth and development including the intrauterine phase or prenatal growth. Second-to-fourth digit lengths ratio (2D:4D) is an putative indicator of prenatal testosterone exposure. Lower 2D:4D indicates higher prenatal testosterone exposure and vice versa. Males generally have lower 2D:4D than females. This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between the fitness measures and 2D:4D in young adult Polish males. The study included 118 Polish male students first course in General Kościuszko Military Academy of Land Forces in Wroclaw. Their mean (+SD) age was 20.4 (+1.60) years. Eurofit test set was employed to assess physical fitness. Apart from height, weight, second and fourth digit lengths, hand grip strength was also measured by a standard isometric dynamometer. The study showed a weak relationship between 2D:4D of right hand and results of physical fitness tests. The smaller was the 2D:4D, the better was the result of endurance and strength tests. This finding was in accord with reports by other studies, indicating that individuals with smaller 2D:4D tend to perform better in these aspects of physical ability. However, we also found an opposite relationship with the results to agility tests. Male students with higher 2D:4D scored better in 5x10 meters shuttle run. This finding did not match with results reported by other studies. This study indicated towards possibility that an association between low 2D:4D and sport and athletic achievement and also physical performances were due to, at least in part, the action of prenatal testosterone. Further studies are required to investigate the relationship of fitness parameters with digit ratio and ultimately with prenatal testosterone exposure.