A Preliminary Study of Physical Fitness in 8- to 10-Year-Old Primary School Children From North East England in Comparison With National and International Data

Kathryn L. Weston, Nicoleta Pasecinic, Laura Basterfield

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

Despite recent updates to international normative values for physical fitness in young people, contemporary data sets from England are sparse with no published data available from the North East. We compared physical fitness in children from one primary school in North East England to International and European reference data, and other English regions.
METHODS:

Eighty participants (mean age [SD]: 9.1 [0.6] y) completed a testing battery of 20-m shuttle run test, handgrip strength, standing broad jump, and sit-and-reach. Scores for each component were assessed against International or European age- and sex-specific centiles, then grouped into quintiles. Differences between our sample and European and English data sets were explored using z scores and t tests.
RESULTS:

For all components, ≥58% of participants were classified as having "moderate" or lower levels. Twenty-meter shuttle run test performance was not substantially different compared with other English data sets. For handgrip and sit-and-reach, our sample scored significantly worse than South East children. Standing broad jump distance in girls, and handgrip in boys and girls, was significantly lower than North West equivalents.
CONCLUSION:

Physical fitness levels in primary school children from North East England are suboptimal, highlighting a need for large-scale monitoring studies to build on our preliminary findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2019

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