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Open AccessArticle

Profiles of Physical Fitness Risk Behaviours in School Adolescents from the ASSO Project: A Latent Class Analysis

Sport and Exercise Sciences Unit, SPPF Department, University of Palermo, Via Giovanni Pascoli 6, 90144 Palermo, Italy
Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Rd Ewing, NJ 08628, USA
ISAFA—International Science and Football Association, 13 Musker Pl, Papworth Everard, Cambridge CB23 3LE, UK
Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Lauro de Bosis 15, 00135 Rome, Italy
Division of Non-communicable Diseases and Life-Course, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, UN City, Marmorvej 51, DK, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1933;
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Obesity Treatment and Prevention)
The aim of the present investigation was to describe profiles of adolescents’ fitness level, identify latent classes of fitness-related risk behaviours, and describe their sociodemographic and environmental predictors. In total, 883 adolescents (16.4 ± 1.4 years; 167.3 ± 10.4 cm; 62.8 ± 13.5 kg; 62.2% males) were assessed for personal and lifestyle information and for physical fitness components. Eleven possible fitness determinants and seven predictors were included. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to determine fitness-related risk behaviours. Logistic regressions predicted class membership and assessed associations with fitness levels and fitness components. Five latent classes were recognised: 1—virtuous, 30.7% of respondents; 2—low physical activity/sport, 18.8%; 3—incorrect alcohol/food habits, 25.8%; 4—health risk/overweight, 15.9%; 5—malaise/diseases, 8.8%. Sex, age, parents’ overweightness/obesity and education, and school type predicted most classes significantly. Compared to class 1, class 2 had higher odds of having all poor fitness components except upper body maximal strength; class 4 had higher risk of low muscular endurance; and class 5 was likely to have lower maximal strength, muscular endurance, and speed/agility. Educating adolescents to reach a sufficient practice of PA/sport could help decreasing the risk of low health-related fitness more than discouraging them from using alcohol, addressing proper food behaviours and habits, and helping them understand their psychophysical malaise symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: latent class analysis; physical fitness; health; adolescents latent class analysis; physical fitness; health; adolescents
MDPI and ACS Style

Tabacchi, G.; Faigenbaum, A.; Jemni, M.; Thomas, E.; Capranica, L.; Palma, A.; Breda, J.; Bianco, A. Profiles of Physical Fitness Risk Behaviours in School Adolescents from the ASSO Project: A Latent Class Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1933.

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