Secular Trends in Anthropometrics and Physical Fitness of Young Portuguese School-Aged Children

Authors

  • Aldo Matos Costa Department of Sport Sciences. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. Portugal. Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD). Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Vila Real. Portugal. Health Sciences Research Centre. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. Portugal.
  • Mário Jorge Costa Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD). Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Vila Real. Portugal. Department of Sport Sciences. Instituto Politécnico da Guarda. Portugal.
  • António Antunes Reis Department of Sport Sciences. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. Portugal.
  • Sandra Ferreira Department of Mathematics and Center for Mathematics. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. Portugal.
  • Júlio Martins Department of Sport Sciences. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. Portugal. Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD). Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Vila Real. Portugal.
  • Ana Pereira Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD). Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Vila Real. Portugal. Department Science and Technology. Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal. Setúbal. Portugal. Research Centre in Education - CIEF. Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal. Setúbal. Portugal.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.7712

Keywords:

Anthropometry, Body Mass Index, Child, Growth and Development, Physical Fitness, Portugal

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to analyze secular trends in anthropometrics and physical fitness of Portuguese children.
Material and Methods: A group of 1819 students (881 boys and 938 girls) between 10 and 11 years old was assessed in their 5th and 6th scholar grade throughout a 20 years’ time-frame. ANCOVA models were used to analyze variations in anthropometrics (height, weight and body mass index) and physical fitness (sit and reach, curl-up, horizontal jump and sprint time) across four quinquennials (1993 - 1998; 1998 - 2003; 2003 - 2008; 2008 - 2013).
Results: Secular trends showed the presence of heavier boys and girls with higher body mass index in the 5th and 6th grade throughout the last 20 years. There was also a presence of taller girls but just until the 3rd quinquennial. Both boys and girls were able to perform better on the core strength test and sprint time but become less flexible over the years. Mean jumping performance remained unchanged for both genders.
Discussion: The present study provides novel data on anthropometrics and physical fitness trends over the last two decades in young Portuguese children, consistent with the results reported in other developed countries.
Conclusion: Evidence for the start of a positive secular trend in body mass index and in some physical fitness components over the last two decades among the Portuguese youth.

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Published

2017-02-27

How to Cite

1.
Costa AM, Costa MJ, Reis AA, Ferreira S, Martins J, Pereira A. Secular Trends in Anthropometrics and Physical Fitness of Young Portuguese School-Aged Children. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2017 Feb. 27 [cited 2023 Feb. 7];30(2):108-14. Available from: https://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/7712

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Original