Somatotype is More Interactive with Strength than Fat Mass and Physical Activity in Peripubertal Children

J Hum Kinet. 2011 Sep;29A:83-91. doi: 10.2478/v10078-011-0063-4. Epub 2011 Oct 4.


The purpose of this study was to analyse the interaction between somatotype, body fat and physical activity in prepubescent children. This was a cross-sectional study design involving 312 children (160 girls, 152 boys) aged between 10 and 11.5 years old (10.8 ± 0.4 years old). Evaluation of body composition was done determining body mass index and body fat by means of skin-fold measurements, using the method described by Slaughter. Somatotype was computed according to the Carter's method. Physical activity was assessed with the Baecke questionnaire. The physical activity assessment employed sets of curl-ups, push-ups, standing broad jump, medicine ball throw, handgrip strength and Margaria-Kalamen power stair. There were negative associations for body fat, endomorphy and mesomorphy with curl-ups, push-ups and broad jump tests and positive associations with ball throw, handgrip strength and Margaria-Kalamen power tests. The associations for ectomorphy were the inverse of those for endomorphy and mesomorphy. Non obese children presented higher values for curl-ups, push-ups and standing broad jump. In medicine ball throw, handgrip strength and Margaria-Kalamen power test obese children presented higher scores, followed by children who were overweight. The mesoectomorphic boys and ectomesomorphic girls performed higher in all tests. The morphological typology presented more interactions with strength than % of body fat and physical activity. These data seem to suggest that the presence/absence of certain physical characteristics is crucial in the levels of motor provision in prepubescent children.

Keywords: anthropometric; motor performance; physical fitness; strength.