Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Health- Related Physical Fitness and Normative Data in Healthy Women, Tehran, Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Health- Related Physical Fitness and Normative Data in Healthy Women, Tehran, Iran

Article excerpt


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the age- related loss of health-related physical fitness and normative data in healthy population women aged 20-60 years old of Tehran, Iran.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1000 healthy women aged 20-60 years old were randomly selected from northern, southern, eastern, western and center regions of Tehran. Cardiovascular fitness was determined by Ros and Jakson protocol. Body composition were measured using Jackson and Poolak procedure, flexibility was determined by sit and reach test, muscular strength with a standard dynamometer and muscular endurance were measured with Sit-ups test in one minutes.

Results: Cardiovascular fitness (vo^sub 2max^), body composition, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance remained unchanged in the 20 and 30 year old age groups. Around of 40 years old, cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance began to gradually decline but body composition increased and flexibility unchanged. Data for Vo2max and the other variables in 4-yr groups provide "normative" results. Result indicated age- related declined in Vo2max (0.43 ml/kg/min×yr (-1)), muscular strength (0.004 kg/weight ×yr (-1)) and endurance (0.63 repetition ×yr (-1)), and increased in body fat (0.43 % ×yr (-1)) in 30-60 year. One-way ANOVA test showed that all variables significantly differed (P<0.001) among decades except sit and rich test (P< 0.059) between the second and third decades. V^sub o2max^ had a significant relationship (P< 0.01) with Age, BMI, body fat percent and muscular strength and endurance.

Conclusion: Iranian women have a greater decline in cardiovascular fitness; muscular strength and endurance. The results of this study can be used as reference material for clinical studies in different age groups.

Keywords: Health-related physical fitness, Normative data, Healthy women, Iran


Aging and health related factors are the one of the important issues that commencing in the 20th century. The number of older people will increase from about 600 million in 2000 to almost 2,000 million in 2050 (1). The increase older population will be greatest in developing countries, similar Iran. It is estimated to quadruple during the next fifty years (2). Internationally, the percentage of peoples aged 60 yr and +60 are expected to be twofold between 2000 and 2050 from 10 to 21 percent, whereas the percentage of children is expected to decrease by a third, from 30 to 21 percent (1). Also, proportions of women aged 60-70 yr are growing and in the next 3-4 decades expected grow from 1.5 million in 2000 to 7.5 million.

The physiological changes of aging are dramatic and in some instances are associated with progressive decline in physical activity (3, 4). Aging also increase some remarkable changes in health related physical fitness (HRFF) including body composition, skeletal muscle strength, a process called sarcopenia (5), endurance, cardiovascular fitness (vo2max) and flexibility (6). It is established that disabilities are in reason of change in HRFF and functional fitness (7).

Because of the alarming statistics on the lack of physical fitness and activity in the developing countries along with the strong evidence of the many benefits of physical activity on health, some country trying to increase physical activity (8, 9). While substantial evidence demonstrates physical activity is effective at increasing HRFF and reducing risk for Cardiovascular and other diseases (10), the percentage of older women, especially in Iranian because cultural and other reasons, participating in regular activity is low (9). Female Iranian adolescents face unique cultural challenges that make achieving adequate levels of physical activity for HRFF benefits even more difficult. In consequences of decreasing physical activity in female adolescents, older women stricken with unfavorable health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, disability, depression, and cognitive decline. …

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