Review Article

Effects of Rock Climbing Exercise on Physical Fitness among College Students: A Review Article and Meta-analysis



Background: The aim of this study was to systematically determine the effects of rock climbing on College Students’ physical fitness by means of Meta-analysis.

Methods: Studies investigated the possible fitness benefits of rock climbing were identified through a computerized search of six electronic databases: China National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Science Periodical Database, PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus and PsycINFO. Effects of rock climbing exercise intervention trials >4 wk, published in English and Chinese between Jan 1996 and May 2016, including between subject and within subject designs, were reviewed. Nine studies were included in this meta-analysis. Ten selected variables in this meta-analysis were: Body fat percentage, VO2max, Heart rate, Handgrip strength, Lower limb pedaling power, Vertical Jump, Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Sit-Ups, and Sit-and-reach. The effect sizes of these ten variables were calculated (P<0.05) and forest plots along with effective sizes were presented.

Results: Rock climbing can significantly improve Handgrip strength, Lower limb pedaling power, Vertical Jump, Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Sit-Ups and Sit-and-reach (P<0.01), and significantly increase VO2max (P<0.05), however, rock climbing did not show significant improvement on Heart rate and Body fat percentage.

Conclusion: As a newly popular physical exercise, rock climbing has a significantly positive impact on the physical fitness among college students. Rock climbing may be more effective if the college students engage in it for a longer term.


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IssueVol 47 No 10 (2018) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Physical fitness, Function, Rock climbing, College students

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How to Cite
LI L, RU A, LIAO T, ZOU S, NIU XH, WANG YT. Effects of Rock Climbing Exercise on Physical Fitness among College Students: A Review Article and Meta-analysis. Iran J Public Health. 2018;47(10):1440-1452.