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Physical Fitness Evaluation of School Children in Southern Italy: A Cross Sectional Evaluation

Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, 90146 Palermo, Italy
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J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010014
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
The aim of this work was to evaluate the fitness levels of different physical components in schoolchildren in southern Italy and identify age-related effects of physical performance. One hundred and fifty-four schoolchildren with ages ranging between 6 and 10 years (age 8.1 ± 1.45 years; 33.70 ± 10.25 kg; 131.50 ± 13.60 cm) were recruited for the investigation. Each scholar underwent a fitness-test battery composed of five elements. A Hand-Grip Strength Test to assess the strength of the hand muscles, a Standing Broad Jump Test to assess lower body explosive strength, a Sit-Up Test to exhaustion to evaluate abdominal muscular endurance, a 4 × 10-m Shuttle Run Test to assess agility, and a 20-m sprint test to assess speed. Cross-sectional analysis revealed that boys perform better than girls and that age affects performance. Lower limb measures show a significant increase after 8 years of age, whereas upper limb measures show a significant increase at 7 and 10 years of age. No age-related differences were found in muscular endurance measures. It is possible to consider age-related performance measures to program exercise interventions that follow the growth characteristics of schoolchildren. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical fitness; assessment; children; evaluation physical fitness; assessment; children; evaluation
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Thomas, E.; Palma, A. Physical Fitness Evaluation of School Children in Southern Italy: A Cross Sectional Evaluation. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3, 14.

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