Habitual physical activity and health-related physical fitness in fourth-grade children

Am J Dis Child. 1993 Aug;147(8):890-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160320092025.


Objective: To examine the relationship between habitual physical activity and components of health-related physical fitness in children.

Design: Cross-sectional survey with correlational analysis.

Setting: Seven public elementary schools in a suburban southern California city.

Participants: Five hundred twenty-eight healthy fourth-grade children (274 boys and 254 girls), 85% of whom were non-Hispanic whites. Ninety-eight percent of eligible students participated.

Interventions: None.

Measurements/main results: Results of six measures of physical activity in children (monitoring by accelerometer, parent report, and child self-reports of weekday activity, weekend activity, and summer involvement in activity classes and youth sports) were combined in a physical activity index. This index of habitual physical activity was examined in relation to measures of five components of health-related fitness: the mile run, skin-fold tests, pull-ups, sit-ups, and the sit-and-reach test. The physical activity index was significantly associated with all five fitness components. The canonical correlation was .29.

Conclusion: Active children appear to engage in a sufficient variety of activities to enhance multiple components of health-related fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Running
  • Sex Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Suburban Population