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Abstract

This study assessed female master swimmers’ perceptions of the influence of menopause on their swimming. Using a cross-sectional design, 183 women completed an internet-based survey. Measures related to menopause status, physical activity levels, perceived effect of menopause on swimming and attitudes to swimming and menopause. Perimenopausal women reported the least physical activity and the greatest reduction in intensity of swimming training due to menopause, relative to other menopause groups. A quarter of women reported that the intensity of their swimming had reduced due to menopause. Additionally, a quarter reported that menopausal symptoms, particularly weight gain and sleeplessness, negatively affected their swimming. A third said that their confidence for competing at swimming had reduced due to menopause and that their swimming improved once menopause stopped. These findings suggest that menopause may have some detrimental effects on female master swimmers.

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