Health-related physical fitness among rural primary school children in Tshannda, South Africa

L. O. Amusa, D. T. Goon, A. K. Amey, A. L. Toriola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The socioeconomic transformation in South Africa over the previous decade may have created a less active lifestyle and a decline in fitness among South African children. This study seeks to present the data on the health-related physical fitness of the Tshannda rural school children in grades 1 to 7 and to evaluate age and gender differences in physical fitness among the Tshannda children, of which information is not yet available. The stature, body mass and skinfolds of the children were measured and the Eurofit test battery was used to assess the children's physical and performance fitness. Percentage body fats, fat mass and fat-free mass were calculated. There was progressive increase and improvement in the performance values from grade level one to seven. In the physical performance tests requiring moving the body, power and strength, the boys generally performed higher than the girls. Girls were superior to boys in the tests of flexibility. Body fat was higher in girls than in boys at all grades and increases with advancement in grades. The physical performance measures of our samples increase in grade levels and with the boys having higher values than girls as well as performing better in activities requiring physical exertion and expenditure of energy. In contrasts, the girls showed superiority in flexibility measures and accumulate more body fat than the boys. Physical fitness of these rural school children seems to be low, thus confirming the worldwide decline in fitness levels of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4665-4680
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Research and Essays
Volume6
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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