Physical Fitness Level in Italian High-School Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study

By Piccinno, Andrea; Colella, Dario | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, September 2014 | Go to article overview

Physical Fitness Level in Italian High-School Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study


Piccinno, Andrea, Colella, Dario, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Physical activity is known to be an important factor in the promotion of people's health and physical efficiency (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010; Janseen & LeBlanc, 2010). Participating in a regular physical activity has been associated with several health benefits (Biddle et al., 2004), nevertheless, young people's physical inactivity, in conjunction with high prevalence of overweight, obesity and sedentary behaviour, has been found to be the main threat to health in the twenty-first century (Blair, 2009).

Physical fitness has been defined as the result of body movement generated by muscles' action which increase expenditure of energy (McArdle et al., 2001).

It has been erroneously defined as a synonym of aerobic fitness rather than being considered a definition that embraces all components concerning health (Hands et al., 2009). Indeed, it includes different components such as endurance, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance (Knapik et al., 2006).

Physical fitness represents the best index of health condition at any age (Ortega et al., 2008). It has been positively associated with benefits on cardiovascular system, levels of total and abdominal adiposity, skeletal apparatus, depression, anxiety, self-esteem and school achievement (Catley & Tomkinson, 2013; Van Dusen et al., 2011; Ortega et al., 2008).

Childhood and adolescence represent crucial moments of life, when lifestyle and healthy or unhealthy behaviour determined at this age may affect health condition in adulthood (Ortega et al., 2008). It has been demonstrated that physical fitness is determining of lifestyle in connection with motor performance as well as individual health condition, and this information has produced much evidence on variation of this aspect in adolescents (Catley & Tomkinson, 2013; Dyrstad et al., 2012; Sandercock et al., 2012; Marta et al., 2012a,b; Sauka et al., 2011).

A number of researches reported that today children are not physically active as their peer were in past decades (Dyrstad et al., 2012; Huotari et al., 2010), although other Authors did not notice any difference (Malina, 2007; Jurimae et al., 2007).

Some researches have pointed out that annual decrease of physical fitness is about 0,36% since 1970 (Hardly et al., 2007).

A study carried out on Finnish adolescents reported a reduction of aerobic fitness of 6-10% between 1976 and 2001 for boys and girls aged 13-18 (Huotari et al., 2010), whereas they found no difference in Danish adolescents aged 15 to 19 in terms of maximum oxygen consumption during 1983,1997 and 2003 (Andersen et al., 2010).

A recent study indicated that in Norwegian teenagers between 1980 and 2000, the annual rate of decline in aerobic fitness is 0.50% for boys and 0.36% for girls (Dyrstad et al., 2012).

Some researchers have confirmed this trend: they have shown a decrease in aerobic fitness in both sexes among English young people and they pointed out that 27.1% of boys and 19.8% of girls do not follow the international recommendations (Sandercock et al., 2012).

The analysis of components such as muscular strength, speed and flexibility did not show a homogeneous trend (Luguetti et al., 2010; Albon et al., 2010; Jurimae et al., 2007).

A review analysing speed and strength performance in children (aged 6-12) from different countries between 1958 and 2003, revealed it is emerging a new negative trend since 1980 (-0.08% - -0.25% per year), even though values for these abilities resulted stable during that period (Tomkinson, 2007).

Analysing performance of children aged 7 to 16 years in 9-minute run, standing broad jump, medicine ball throw and 1-minute curl-up, some researchers have drawn attention to a reduction (often over 50%) of performance in all tests, for both sexes, particularly girls (Luguetti et al., 2010).

Whereas a recent study showed that Spanish adolescents improved performance in 4x10m and 20m shuttle run test and they worsened performance in hand grip test and standing broad jump comparing 2001-2002 and 2006- 2007 (Moliner-Urdiales et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Physical Fitness Level in Italian High-School Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.