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The Effect of the Kindergarten Barefoot Policy on Preschool Children’s Toes

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics October 16, 2016

Abstracts

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of kindergarten barefoot policy on the untouched-toes of preschool children, by comparing children who attend kindergarten following the barefoot policy and those attending kindergarten that follow the no-barefoot policy.

A pedoscope was used to record the contact surface area of the soles of the subjects’ feet, which was used to analyse the number of untouched-toes.

A subject was defined as having untouched-toes when there was more than one untouched-toe among the toes of both feet.

Fisher’s exact test was used to examine the difference between the first measurements and the measurements 2 years later for the ratio of subjects with/without untouched-toes.


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The number of children without untouched-toes changed from 12 (35.3%) in the first measurement to 22 (64.7%) when measured 2 years later in boys, in the barefoot group.

In girls, although the number of children without untouched-toes increased from seven (28.0%) in the first measurement to 11 (44.0%) in the second measurement, a significant difference was not found.

In the non-barefoot group, the number of children without untouched-toes was 24 (23.3%) for boys and 27 (36.5%) for girls in the first measurement and 28 (27.2%) for boys and 29 (38.2%) for girls 2 years later.

In boys, the numbers were significantly fewer 2 years later than in the first measurement and in the barefoot group compared to the non-barefoot group.

The number of untouched-toes was less in children (boys in particular) who went to kindergarten where they could go barefoot than in children who had to wear shoes.

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References: 
  1. Shigeki Matsuda, Kosho Kasuga, Tadayuki Hanai, Tomohiro Demura and Keisuke Komura (2016) The effect of the kindergarten barefoot policy on preschool children’s toes. Matsuda et al. Journal of Physiological Anthropology: 2016, 36:4, doi 10.1186/s40101-016-0097-3

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