Anthropometry and motor fitness in children aged 6-12 years

Chiara Milanese, Oscar Bortolami, Matteo Bertucco, Giuseppe Verlato, Carlo Zancanaro

Abstract

This study aimed at evaluating motor abilities and anthropometric parameters in children aged 6-12 years and their interrelationships. One hundred fifty-two children underwent standard anthropometry (BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, sum of five skinfolds) and motor fitness tests (standing long jump and 30m dash). Data were stratified by age (6-7, 8-9, 10-12 years) and sex (M/F), and the Spearman correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the correlation between BMI and the other anthropometric measurements in each class as well as the correlation between anthropometric parameters and fitness tests. The effect of age, sex, and individual anthropometric measurement on velocity or jump length was evaluated by ANOVA. BMI positively correlated with waist circumference and subcutaneous fat, and negatively correlated with body density. Motor fitness was not significantly affected by BMI, while sum of five skinfolds negatively associated with velocity in males aged 6-7 years and with jump length in females aged 8-12 years. Motor fitness significantly correlated with age, and performance was higher in males. Moreover, motor fitness tests positively correlated with each other, especially in females. In the 6-12 years period motor performance improves with age and improvement is partially sex-related; this correlation is higher in boys, possibly because of their lesser amount of fat. Subcutaneous fat is a better predictor of physical fitness than BMI or waist circumference. Results also suggest that explosive strength and velocity are related the 6-12 years age span, possibly because both are power events, which involve horizontal movement of the centre of mass.


Keywords

Physical fitness; Paediatric exercise; Fitness testing; Gender

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2010.52.14