A survey of joint mobility was conducted in 295 healthy children between the ages of 5 and 10 years who attended a London primary school. Estimates of the commonly used measurements, that is passive dorsiflexion of the wirsts and ankles, passive hypertension of the elbows and knee, were too insensitive to detect any age effect. However, a method of estimating extensibility of the 5th metacarpophalangeal joint in response to a standard load detected a highly significant inverse correlation between joint mobility and age in the samples significant inverse correlation between joint mobility and age in the samples tested ( r = -0.586; P less than 0.0001). There was no apparement sex difference. Skinfold thickness using the Harpenden caliper over the 3rd metacarpal bone and the in vivo skin elasticity measured using a suction cup device performed on a sample of 78 of the children revealed no influence of either age or sex on these parameters. This is in sharp contradistinction to the effect of both age and sex in these two parameters in adults...
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