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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 137-141

Comparison of physical fitness between tobacco chewer and non-tobacco chewer

Department of Physiotherapy, Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication6-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Neeraj Kumar
Asst. Professor cum Academic Coordinator, Department of Physiotherapy, Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.156344

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Aim: The purpose of this study was to find any difference in general physical fitness between tobacco and nontobacco chewers. Materials and Methods: A total of 50 subjects were participated in this study in which 25 subjects with mean age 20.30 (±2.11) were nontobacco chewers and placed in Group A, whereas, other 25 subjects with mean age 21.25 (±2.17) were tobacco chewers and placed in Group B. All participants performed the international physical fitness test (IPFT) battery which contains five tests (50 m shuttle run, arm flexed hang, 10 m shuttle, back throw and 1000 m run) for determining speed, agility, strength, and power. Results: Statistically significant differences were seen in all the five components of IPFT between Group A and Group B. Conclusion: Therefore, it can be suggested that tobacco consumption may cause decrease in physical fitness as the finding of this study supported that nontobacco chewers have better physical fitness than tobacco chewers.

  Abstract in Arabic 

مقارنة بين اللياقة البدنية لدى ماضغي التبغ و الذين لا يمارسون هذه العادة.
هدف الدراسة: هدفت هذه الدراسة إلى إيجاد أي فروق في اللياقة البدنية بين ماضغي التبغ و الذين لا يمارسون هذه العادة .
المواد ومنهج الدراسة: شارك في هذه الدراسة 50 شخصا قسّموا إلى مجموعتين متساوتين: المجموعة (أ) ضمّت 25 شخصا لا يمارسون مضغ التبغ ، تراوجت أعمارهم بين 20 و30 عاما. أمّا المجموعة فقد كان عدد أفرادها 25 فرداً كذلك، اعتادوا على مضغ التبغ ، تراوحت أعمارهم بين 21 و25 عاما. خضعت المجموعتان إلى الاختبار العالمي للياقة البدنية IPFTالذي يحتوى على خمسة اختبارات ، شملت: الجري ذهابا وإيابا لمسافة 50مترا ، و تعليق الذّراع والجري ذهابا و إيابا لمسافة 10 أمتار ، واالرمي ، والجري لمسافة 1000 متر؛ لتحديد السرعة وخفّة الحركة، والقوة والطاقة.
النتائح: أظهرت الدراسة فروقاً ذات دلالة إحصائية في جميع مكوّنات الاختبار بين المجموعتين .
الخلاصة: أظهرت النتائج أن استهلاك التبغ قد تسبّب في انخفاض اللياقة البدنية , وتدعم هذه الدراسة أن الذين لا يمارسون عادة مضغ التبغ ، أظهروا لياقة بدنية أكثر من المضاغين

Keywords: International physical fitness test, physical fitness, tobacco chewing

How to cite this article:
Kumar N, Singh A, Sinha N, Tripathi VM. Comparison of physical fitness between tobacco chewer and non-tobacco chewer. Saudi J Sports Med 2015;15:137-41

How to cite this URL:
Kumar N, Singh A, Sinha N, Tripathi VM. Comparison of physical fitness between tobacco chewer and non-tobacco chewer. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 29];15:137-41. Available from: https://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2015/15/2/137/156344

  Introduction Top

Physical fitness is an important determinant of overall fitness of an individual. It helps in keeping a person fit and enhances health and well-being. It also helps in preventing obesity and controls other metabolic diseases. [1],[2] To keep the body fit, and healthy a regular exercise program is important not only for athletes but also for the nonathletes. [3] It is believed that today's youth are physically less fit and obese. [4],[5] The less physical fitness can lead to some serious health related issues. [4] As the lifestyle is being changed the majority of the population has less time to indulge in physical activities and thus living a sedentary life, which can lead to heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, muscular weakness, etc. [6],[7] There are various tests for physical fitness in which international physical fitness test (IPFT) is one which is convenient to perform and yet valid and reliable. [8]

This less physical activity can further deteriorate a person's health if it is combined with tobacco consumption. [9],[10],[11],[12] "Tobacco is injurious to health," a well-known quotation of day to day life and the warning of its harmful effect on human body is being regularly mentioned by media and press, but still the number of tobacco users are increasing day by day. [13] Tobacco is the most widely used and distributed drug in the world and it also causes more deaths. [14] In India, tobacco chewing is an age-old practice. [15] India has one of the highest rates of oral cancer in world and is responsible for the half of all the cancers in men and quarter of all cancers in women which is mostly caused and triggered by the increased use of tobacco chewing. [12] The most common forms of tobacco chewing are "pan" (piper betel leaf filled with sliced areca nut, lime, catechu, and other spices chewed with tobacco), "pan-masala" or "gutkha" (a chewable tobacco containing areca nut), and "mishri" or "gul" (a powdered tobacco rubbed on the gums as toothpaste). [12],[16] The habit of tobacco chewing is very common among poor people in rural and sub-urban areas of India. [12],[16],[17]

Consumption of tobacco can affect cardio-vascular system, respiratory system, oral cavity, teeth etc., its harmful effect on bodily system has been well documented, [14],[18],[19] but its effect of musculoskeletal system is the area of thrust for the researchers. There are numerous studies who compared the physical fitness between smokers and nonsmokers, [13] and various other groups, [2],[20],[21] but there is a paucity of work which compares the physical fitness between tobacco chewers and nonchewers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to find any differences among the general physical fitness between tobacco chewer and nonchewer.

  Materials and methods Top


A total of 50 healthy moderately active male individual students from different Departments of Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology, Kanpur, India, aged between 18 and 25 years were randomly selected. All participants were devoid of any neuromuscular abnormalities and were nongym users. All participants were divided equally into two groups; Group A consists of 25 participants who are not indulged in tobacco chewing or smoking, and Group B consists of other 25 participants who were indulge in tobacco chewing for last 1 year with the rate of at least 10 episodes per day. The study was approved by Institutional Ethics Committee of Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology, Kanpur, India.


General physical fitness of all the participants were tested by "IPFT", which consist a battery of five tests: 50 m sprint test, flexed arm hang, 10 m shuttle run, back throw and 1,000 m run. These tests measure the basic components of physical activity-speed, strength, suppleness and stamina.

Fifty meter shuttle run

The participants had to run with maximum speed up to 50 m, and time was being recorded by stopwatch. A warm-up time was given, and two trials were taken in which best time was recorded for the study.

Flexed arm hang test

The participants were required to climb the ladder and grasp the overhead bar using an overhand grip with the chin on the level with the bar. On the command "go" the participant removed his feet from the ladder and asked to hold this position as long as possible and the timing were started until the subject's chin falls below the bar.

Ten meter shuttle run test

Two lines were marked at 10 m apart. Two wooden blocks were placed on the second line, and participants were asked to start from the first line. On the command 'go' the participant sprint to the second line and picked up one wooden block then turn and sprint to the first line without any rest and placed it beyond the first line and then again turn and sprint to the second line without any delay and picked up the second wooden block and again sprint back to the first line and placed beyond it. Two such trials were taken and the best time to complete this test was recorded.

Back throw test

The participants were required to throw the shot put backward as far as possible. The participant hold the shot with both the hand between knees and bend forward and downward before throwing the shot backwards over the head in a two-handed throwing action. The maximum distance was measured with the help of measuring tape, and the best result of two trials was recorded.

Thousand meters run test

The participants were asked to complete 1000 m distance in the fastest possible time. The total time to complete the distance was recorded by stopwatch.


One participant was allowed to perform all these five tests in 1 day, and the equal numbers of participants from each group were asked to perform these tests, but not more than 6 participants in 1 day. Therefore, maximum three participants per day each from Group A and Group B were called 30 min before starting the test. They consumed nothing, but only water, before the test. The participants were allowed to take rest for 15 min before each testing session.


Mean, standard deviation, standard error, and percentile were used to prepare summary statistics. Independent-samples t-test were used to determine the differences between both the groups among all the variables. The statistical analysis was performed on SPSS ver. 16.00 (Copyright © SPSS Inc., 1989-2007).

  Results Top

Twenty-five nontobacco chewer and 25 tobacco chewer participated in the present study and placed in Group A and Group B, respectively. The mean age (years), height (cm) and weight (kg) of Group A were 20.30 (±2.11), 170.40 (±6.12) and 54.95 (±7.47) respectively; and of Group B 21.25 (±2.17), 166.95 (±4.48) and 53.4 (±6.28) respectively, as shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Mean age, height and weight of Group A and Group B

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The averages of all the variables of IPFT among both the groups are shown in [Table 1]. Independent-samples t-test were applied on all the variables of IPFT between both groups. T-value of 50 m shuttle run flexed arm hang test, 10 m shuttle run test, back throw test and 1000 m run test were − 3.38, 8.07, −4.10, 3.12 and − 2.97 respectively. P values are shown in [Table 1].
Table 1: Physical fitness test values between Group A and Group B

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  Discussion Top

The purpose of the present research work was to find any difference between general physical fitness of tobacco and nontobacco chewer. 50 young healthy participants divided into two groups contain 25 subjects each volunteered to participate in this study. Group A represents a nontobacco consuming group, and Group B consists of tobacco users of more than 1 year. The general physical fitness was determined by the IPFT.

The mean age (years) of participants in Group A and Group B was 20.30 and 21.25 respectively and the difference (t-value) between them was −1.40 which is found statistical insignificant. Therefore, it can be stated that there was no significant difference in age between both groups. The average height (cm) of subjects in Group A and B was 170.40 and 166.95 respectively and their difference (t-value) between both groups was 2.04, which found statistical insignificant and hence not responsible for differences in tests. Furthermore, the weight (kg) of participants in both Groups A and B was 54.95 and 53.4 respectively and their difference (t-value) between both groups was 0.71, which also found statistical insignificant. Moreover, it can be stated that age, height and weight is not responsible for any changes between both the groups.

The IPFT consists of five physical tests, they are 50 m shuttle run, flexed arm hang test, 10 m shuttle, back throw and 1000 m run. Statistical significant difference found in 50 m shuttle run test (t = −3.38) between Group A and Group B. This finding suggests that non-tobacco chewer has better time to complete 50 m shuttle test when compared to tobacco chewer. Moreover, it can be stated that tobacco has negative effect over speed of an individual, which causes a decrease in performance while performing 50 m shuttle run test, this finding is quite consistent with the findings of Tong et al. (1978) [22] and Escher et al. (1998) [23] which stated in their studies that speed is an important determinant of good performance and it is affected by tobacco consumption. Similarly, statistical significant difference were seen in flexed arm hang test (t = 8.07) between both the groups, which suggests that nontobacco chewer has more power to perform flexed arm hang test as compare to tobacco chewer. This finding is consistent with the finding of Escher et al. (1998) [23] who reported that power or strength of an individual is being influenced by tobacco use. Furthermore, statistical significant difference found in 10 m shuttle test (t = −4.09) between both groups, which again states that nontobacco chewers are agiler than tobacco chewer. This finding is supported by the findings of Tong et al. (1978), [22] and also relatively consistent with the findings of Fukuba et al. 1993, [24] who stated that speed and agility of smokers were lesser than nonsmokers. Similarly, in back throw test we have found statistical significant difference (t = 3.12) between group A and group B. The finding of this result is similar to the findings of Escher et al. (1998), [23] which suggested that nontobacco chewers have more strength and power than tobacco chewers; and also similar to the findings of Al-Obaidi et al. 2004, [25] who stated that strength of nonsmokers are more than smokers. Finally, again statistical significant difference found in 1000 m run test (t = −2.97) between both the groups, which states that speed and endurance of nontobacco chewers are better than tobacco chewers and this result is supported by the findings of Fukuba et al. 1993. [24]

  Conclusion Top

The findings of the present research reveal that speed, strength, power and agility which contributes for general physical fitness, are better in nontobacco chewers as compared to their counterpart that is, tobacco chewers. Tobacco has a negative effect over human body performances. Despite of social awareness program to eliminate the tobacco consumption, a strong policy required to stop the production and availability of such harmful products.

  References Top

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  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]

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