Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Health-Related Fitness Changes in Hispanic Elementary Schoolchildren after 1 Year of Regular Physical Education

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Health-Related Fitness Changes in Hispanic Elementary Schoolchildren after 1 Year of Regular Physical Education

Article excerpt

High rates of overweight and physical inactivity have been found in African American and Hispanic children (CDC, 1997). School physical education is a primary way for children to engage in regular physical activity. However, the time, content and method variation of current elementary physical education programs may play a role in their effectiveness. Program effectiveness becomes more relevant for minority children for whom physical education is the only means to engage in regular physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of participation in physical education on health-related fitness components in Hispanic school children. Fifty-six girls and 62 boys from the fourth (n = 41) and fifth (n = 77) grade in an urban elementary school in southeast Texas participated in the study. Participants ranged in age from 9 to 13 years. Body composition and cardiorespiratory endurance were assessed on all participants by the same teacher at the beginning and end of the academic year 2002-03. Height and weight were also measured as part of the testing. Body composition was assessed using body mass index (BMI), and estimating percent fat through triceps and calf skinfolds (Slaughter and Lohman, 1988). Cardiorespiratory endurance was assessed using the FITNESSGRAM[R] Pacer test. …

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