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Open AccessArticle

Is Self-Reported Physical Fitness Useful for Estimating Fitness Levels in Children and Adolescents? A Reliability and Validity Study

Department of Epidemiology; School of Public Health, University de São Paulo, 01246-904 São Paulo, Brazil
YCARE (Youth/Child cArdiovascular Risk and Environmental) Research Group, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, 01246-903 São Paulo, Brazil
DOMEN (Metabolic Diseases, Exercise and Nutrition) Research Group, Department of Biophysical and Physiology, Federal University of Piaui, 64049-550 Teresina, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equally contributed first author.
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 286;
Received: 4 November 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
PDF [383 KB, uploaded 18 June 2019]


Background and objective: The assessment of physical fitness has become a necessary issue in epidemiological studies, since a reduction in fitness is directly associated with early mortality. Therefore, the development of simple, accurate, and inexpensive methods is necessary to measure physical fitness. This study aimed to determine the reliability and validity of the criteria and constructs of the International Fitness Scale (IFIS), Portuguese version, in Brazilian pediatric populations. Methods: A total of 190 children aged 3–10 years and 110 adolescents aged 11–17 years were enrolled in an observational study of reliability and validity. For reliability, the participants completed a questionnaire twice (with an interval of 15 days). To test the criterion validity, we analyzed the agreement between the questionnaire and physical tests (20-m shuttle run test, handgrip strength, standing long jump tests, 4 × 10-m shuttle run test, and back-saver sit and reach test), and the construct validity was estimated by agreement between the questionnaire and high blood pressure. The reliability was analyzed by kappa coefficients. The agreement between the testing and retesting of the questionnaire was evaluated by kappa coefficients. We applied a 2 × 2 table to estimate the specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy of the questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the children was 6.7 years (n = 190), and for the adolescents it was 14.6 years (n = 110). The questionnaire reliability showed an almost perfect score (κ ≥ 0.93 in children and κ ≥ 0.88 in adolescents). The questionnaire showed moderate criterion validity (κ ≥ 0.40 in children and adolescents) as well as moderate construct validity (κ ≥ 0.40) in the components of general conditioning, cardiorespiratory capacity, muscular strength, and speed/agility in children and in the components of cardiorespiratory capacity, muscle strength, and speed/agility in adolescents. The questionnaire was a sensitive method for measuring physical fitness. Conclusions: The Portuguese version of the IFIS is a reliable and valid method for measuring physical fitness in pediatric populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical fitness; questionnaire; reliability; validity; children; adolescents; self-reported physical fitness; questionnaire; reliability; validity; children; adolescents; self-reported
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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De Moraes, A.C.F.; Vilanova-Campelo, R.C.; Torres-Leal, F.L.; Carvalho, H.B. Is Self-Reported Physical Fitness Useful for Estimating Fitness Levels in Children and Adolescents? A Reliability and Validity Study. Medicina 2019, 55, 286.

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