Aim: This cross-sectional study examined factors related to children's physical fitness and activity levels in Taiwan.
Methods: A total of 331 Taiwanese children, aged 7 and 8, and their mothers participated in the study. Children performed physical fitness tests, recorded their physical activities during two weekdays and completed self-esteem questionnaires. Research assistants measured the children's body mass and stature. Mothers completed demographic, parenting style and physical activity questionnaires.
Results: Attending urban school, lower body mass index (BMI), older age and better muscular endurance contributed to the variance in better aerobic capacity, and attending rural school and better aerobic capacity contributed to the variance in better muscular endurance in boys. Attending urban school, lower BMI and better athletic competence contributed to the variance in better aerobic capacity, and younger age, rural school and higher household income contributed to the variance in better flexibility in girls.
Conclusion: Despite the limitations of the study, with many countries and regions, including Taiwan, now emphasizing the importance of improving physical fitness and activity in children, an intervention that is gender-, geographically, and developmentally appropriate can improve the likelihood of successful physical fitness and activity programmes.