J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2022 Aug;62(8):1023-1028. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12664-7.
BACKGROUND: The Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) is a widely adopted test to evaluate manual dexterity. A factor that could influence the cognitive process is physical and mental stress, which could be controlled by respiration. Stress can be monitored through heart variability. Consequently, the present study’s objective was to investigate the association between the breath relaxation technique and the GPT and correlate the findings with stress parameters.
METHODS: One hundred fourteen participants were recruited. Stress level test, GPT, and breathing exercise for relaxation were performed. Spearman test was adopted to evaluate the correlation, while the Friedman Test and the Dunn Test and the Mann-Whitney Test were performed to detect statistical differences.
RESULTS: Correlation existed between GPT and age (r=-0.02), height (r=0.22), weight (r=0.21), and handgrip (r=0.21). The Friedman and Dunn’s post-test resulted in significant differences in group 1 and 2 between GPT baseline vs. GPT rest (P<0.01) and GPT baseline vs. GPT relax in group 1 (P<0.01) and group 2 (P<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: A breath relaxation technique does not influence the GPT, and even not significantly, physical stress increases the time to complete the GPT. Instead, high mental stress, stress resistance, and heart frequency decrease the time to complete the GPT.