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Original Research

Two-year longitudinal health-related fitness, anthropometry and body composition status amongst adolescents in Tlokwe Municipality: The PAHL Study

Oluwatoyi O. Toriola, Makama A. Monyeki, Abel L. Toriola

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.896

Submitted: 03 June 2015
Published:  30 October 2015

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate a two-year longitudinal development of health-related fitness, anthropometry and body composition status amongst adolescents in Tlokwe Municipality, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Setting: A total of 283 high-school learners (111 boys and 172 girls) of ages 14 and 15 years who were part of the ongoing Physical Activity and Health Longitudinal Study (PAHLS) participated in the study. For the purpose of the present study, data collected for 2011 and 2012 for anthropometric, body composition and health-related physical fitness were used.

Results: Body mass index (BMI) classification of boys and girls for 2011 and 2012 showed that 24.3% of them were underweight compared with 21% in 2012. In 2011, 50% of boys and girls had normal bodyweight compared with 52% in 2012, whilst 25.5% of the total group of participants were overweight compared with 27% in 2012. Both boys and girls showed significant increases of 5.9% in body fat (BF) and 3.2 kg in body weight over two years’ measurements, respectively. Regarding health-related fitness (i.e BAH), boys showed an increase of 14.8 seconds whilst girls gained 9.6 seconds. Significant decreases were found for sit-ups in both boys and girls. A significant VO2max increase of 2.9 mL/kg/min. was found in boys over the time period. A non-significant decrease of -0.5 mL/kg/min. was observed in girls. Regression coefficients showed that changes in BMI were inversely associated with those in health-related physical fitness. The changes in percentage BF were negatively associated with standing broad jump (SBJ), bent arm hang (BAH) and VO2 max in both boys and girls. A low significant positive association was found between changes in waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and SBJ in both genders, whilst inverse low associations were found between WHtR and BAH in girls and for VO2max in both genders.

Conclusion: Changes in BMI, %BF and WHtR were negatively associated with strength and running performances in the participating children. The relative increase in overweight, especially in girls, negatively affected their endurance running and static strength performances. The health implications of the observed findings are discussed and recommendations offered for physical activity intervention in school physical education (PE) programmes.


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Author affiliations

Oluwatoyi O. Toriola, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Focus Area, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Makama A. Monyeki, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Focus Area, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Abel L. Toriola, Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

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ISSN: 2071-2928 (print) | ISSN: 2071-2936 (online)

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