Six-year changes in body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness of English schoolchildren from an affluent area

Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Oct;39(10):1504-7. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.105. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


We compared values of body mass index (BMI) and cardiorespiratory fitness (20 m shuttle-run test) of n=157 boys and n=150 girls aged 10-11 measured in 2014 with measures from 2008 and 1998. Boys' fitness was lower (d=0.68) in 2014 than 2008, despite a small (d=0.37) decline in BMI. Girl's BMI changed trivially (d=0.08) but cardiorespiratory fitness was lower (d=0.47) in 2014 than 2008. This study suggests fitness is declining at 0.95% per year, which exceeds the 0.8% rate of decline we reported between 1998 and 2008 and is double the global average of 0.43%. Declines in fitness were independent of changes in BMI suggesting continued reductions in English children's habitual physical activity levels.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Schools*
  • Socioeconomic Factors