Physical education faculty students' functional adaptation to educational process

Physical education faculty students' functional adaptation to educational process


PhD, Associate Professor G.V. Pozharova
PhD, Associate Professor E.E. Elaeva
Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Evsevev, Saransk

Keywords: functional adaptation, reserve capacities, homeostasis, educational process.

Background. The Russian Education System Modernization Concept ranks high on its list of priorities the initiatives to optimize the educational, mental and physical loads and establish facilitating conditions in the national educational system for the students’ health protection and improvement by a variety of means, including the scope and quality of the academic physical education curricula being stepped up and due health monitoring system being established. Presently one of the key missions of every educational staff training establishment is to make transition to new formats of the education specialist training process, including the physical education and sport formats geared to successfully meet the challenges of the health protection and physical education process in educational establishments of different types [1].

The human body functionality and adaptation reserve rating studies are presently rated among the top priorities for the mass physical culture movement and athletic training system. These studies are indispensable in rating specific outcomes of any sport activity it terms of the physical and spiritual resource build-up to attain good health standards, harmonized physical progress, stamina and vital capacity. Modern sport disciplines are largely different in their requirements to a human body as verified by the individual physiological responses including the body adaptation test rates [2-5].

Objective of the study was to explore the functional adaptation specifics of Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute students in the education process.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was performed in the period of October through December 2015 at the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Practice Centre under the Mordovia Pedagogical Education Base Centre. The research and educational activity of the Centre is designed to employ the research, infrastructural and technical assets of the “Liberal Sciences and Education” and “Natural Science Education” divisions of the Research and Education Centre to give every opportunity for studies in the physical education and sports domain followed by the research findings being implemented to improve the academic education and training processes [6, 7].

Subject to the study were three groups of university athletes aged 18–20 years, including 30 cross-country ski racers, 24 track-and-field athletes and 24 wrestlers. We used special software tools of a computerized “Health-Express” Integrated Diagnostics System to obtain the anthropometric and physiometric data (at relative rest) including: body height (cm), body mass (kg), heart rate HR (bpm), blood pressure (BP), and heart rate variability data.

Spirographic tests using a computerized SpiroTest System were applied to generate the following test data: respiratory rate (RR), respiratory capacity (RC), respiratory minute volume (RMV), vital capacity (VC), maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV), inspiratory reserve volume (IRV), expiratory reserve volume (ERV), breathing reserve (BR), air velocity rate (AVR), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity ratio (FEV1/FVC), average forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75 % of FVC (FEF 25–75), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximum expiratory flow at 25 % of FVC (MEF25), maximum expiratory flow at 50 % of FVC (MEF50), maximum expiratory flow at 75 % of FVC (MEF75).

Furthermore, PWC170 tests were performed using a cycle ergometer rated at 150W exercise that was assumed as a sub-maximal level.

The tested university athletes were qualified from Class I Athletes to Candidates for Master of Sport with the relevant physical fitness rates, with their formal athletic training records in the relevant specific environmental conditions accounting for 5–6 years. It may be pertinent to remind that cross-country skiers are normally trained in rough terrains at the air temperatures varying from +30°С to –30°С; runners normally practice at open stadiums at the air temperatures varying from +10°С to +30°С; and wrestlers  normally train indoors at the constant air temperature of around +20°С.

Study results and discussion. Comparative analysis of the students’ group test data showed that the body functional systems responsible for due adaptation process perform with different adaptation effects; and the response rating data variability largely depend on the athletic training format and the environmental conditions.

The heart resting bioelectric activity environment-specific data of the skiers and runners were found to notably differ from the wrestlers’ test data. For instance, the heart cycle and electric systole test data of the skiers and runners were different from those of the wrestlers. Т-peak of the skiers and runners was higher than that of the wrestlers – that is explainable by better trophism and contractive function of their myocardium due to the specific training practices and environmental conditions of the training process.

The spirographic tests showed adequate adaptive responses of the external respiration system to the tests in most of the tested subjects; with the RMV tested to grow by 38%; the IRV tested to significantly rise by 39%; ERV by 30%; MVV and FEV1 showing a growth trend by 8%; the FEV1/FVC ratio found to significantly increase by 10%; the peak flow rate (PF) increased by 11%; and the VC rate – by 12%.

The skiers and runners’ breath-holding times were tested to average at 84.3±3.56 s and 87.63±4.72 s, respectively; as compared to the wrestlers’ breath-holding times that averaged 67.0±1.99 s (р<0.001). Furthermore, the skiers and runners’ environmental portraits, as provided by the SpiroTest System tests, were the best in the airway conductance rates (see Table 1 hereunder).

 Table 1. External respiration function (ERF) test data variations in physical load tests of the athletes specializing in different sport disciplines, %

ERF rates

Sub-maximal physical load

Growth rate, %

Prior to work

After work


13,50 ± 1,77

18,03 ± 2,07



4,86 ± 0,29

5,43 ± 0,33



2,20 ± 0,16

3,04 ± 0,19*



1,22 ± 0,13

1,52 ± 0,13



138 ± 10,82

148 ± 11,81



3,72 ± 0,21

4,03 ± 0,22



83,78 ± 2,60

91,13 ± 2,20*



6,56 ± 0,57

7,29 ± 0,65


The study data and analyses gave grounds to find that different sports apparently cause different effects on body systems and, consequently, evoke different physiological responses as verified by the variations of the cardiovascular and respiratory system functional adaptation test rates in the tested sample of university athletes.

Conclusion. Body adaptation to a variety of factors specific for the university studies is associated with stresses in the compensatory and adaptation body systems. The educational and physical stress accumulation effects may result in de-adaptation phenomena in the university athletes’ training process associated with the growing risks of health disorders. The study identified a few physiological performance test rates most sensitive to the body adaptive capabilities in the muscular work process. The resultant study data may be applied in the university athletes’ adaptive capability rating tests.

The study was performed with support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF under the “Educational Personnel for Innovative Russia” Strategic Development Program.


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It is the students' adaptation to the university education process that is commonly viewed as a deciding factor for their academic achievements, cognitive and creative ability development process, personal professional development, positive socialization and successful professional career. Therefore, regularities of student’s body adaptation to the complicated and demanding social and informational factors of the academic environment deserve being studied in detail. The article explores a variety of issues of the Physical Education Faculty students’ adaptation to the academic process with an emphasis on the health issues. High priority is given to the students’ performance control criteria and substantiations for the preventive correction system and the recreation initiatives geared to prudently control the adaptation process and maintain good health standards. Athletic training process is viewed as one of the key methods to optimize the homeostasis mechanisms and harmonize the adaptive capabilities of the human body. It is the high functionality level that is considered a prerequisite for a high physical working capacity and potential body adaptive capability to the competitive and training loads in the university curricula. Therefore, the individual adaptation degree may be viewed as an indication of a certain functional state.