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Article

Changes in Physical Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic in German Children

Institute of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
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Academic Editors: Clemens Drenowatz and Klaus Greier
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159504
Received: 31 May 2022 / Revised: 26 July 2022 / Accepted: 28 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
With the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2019, each country has developed strategies to try to control the virus. The restrictions and subsequent consequences also limited the possibilities and structures for being physically active. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine changes in physical fitness in a cohort that was investigated over an extended period. Physical fitness testing was conducted with the IPPTP-R in a primary school from a small rural community annually since 2012. Mean values of test items were calculated for each cohort. We conducted an ANCOVA to examine the differences between cohorts PreCOVID and 2020 as the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and between PreCOVID and 2021 as the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, no evidence for a negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical fitness in children between the ages of 7 and 9 years was found. In strength tests, performances increased when comparing the PreCOVID cohort and COVID-19 cohorts (Push-Ups: p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.032; p = 0.017, ηp2 = 0.006). No evidence for a change was found for endurance (6-min Run: p = 0.341, ηp2 = 0.001; p = 0.267, ηp2 = 0.001. The rural community maintained physical fitness despite restrictions and limitations through the environmental circumstances. Considering this, it is a positive example of how adequate long-term efforts promoting physical fitness make an impact and an active friendly environment helps to overcome COVID-19 pandemics limiting the structures for being physically active. View Full-Text
Keywords: motor performance; motor development; youth; effects; influences; cross-sectional study motor performance; motor development; youth; effects; influences; cross-sectional study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eberhardt, T.; Bös, K.; Niessner, C. Changes in Physical Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic in German Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 9504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159504

AMA Style

Eberhardt T, Bös K, Niessner C. Changes in Physical Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic in German Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(15):9504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159504

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eberhardt, Tanja, Klaus Bös, and Claudia Niessner. 2022. "Changes in Physical Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic in German Children" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 15: 9504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159504

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