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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692

Abstract

RONQUE, Enio Ricardo Vaz et al. Physical fitness diagnosis in schoolchildren of high socioeconomic status: evaluation for health criterion reference. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.2, pp. 71-76. ISSN 1517-8692.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922007000200001.

Regular practice of systematized physical activities in childhood and adolescence may strongly favor the development or maintenance of suitable levels of physical fitness, decreasing hence the risk of incidence of several chronic-degenerative dysfunctions in early ages. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the body adiposity as well as the motor performance in high socio-economical status children, according to an evaluation for health criterion reference. Therefore, 511 students (274 boys and 237 girls), age between 7-10 years were submitted to anthropometrical measurements of body weight, height and skinfolds thickness (tricipital and subscapular) as well as the following motor tests: sitting and reaching (SR); modified abdominal (ABD) and 9 minute-run/walk (9MIN). The data were analyzed according to the cutting points suggested by the Physical Best (1988). Concerning body adiposity; a higher number of students were verified above (33% of boys and 15% of girls, P < 0.01) than below the preestablished criteria. The observed behavior in the different motor tests applied was very similar in both sexes, except for the SR in which a higher proportion of girls fulfilled the adopted criteria (76% vs. 58%, P < 0.01). Conversely, the weakest motor development was identified in the 9MIN test where only 27% of the boys and 32% of the girls (P > 0.05) reached the adopted cutting points. When analyzed together, it was observed that only 15% of the boys and 21% of the girls (P > 0.05) presented satisfactory results in the three motor tests used. The high prevalence of children who were above the health criteria for the body fat amount, associated with the low proportion of subjects who fulfilled the established criteria in the used motor tests group, show that the physical fitness level found in the students investigated is fairly below the expectation. The results suggest the need of developing health educational programs which stimulate more effective participation of young individuals in physical exercise and sports programs of different nature, especially at school environment where a great amount of life habits is established.

Keywords : Lifestyle; Body adiposity; Motor performance; Motor tests; Children.

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