Physical and cardiorespiratory profiles of urban schoolchildren aged 10-14 years in Douala, Cameroon
Little information is known concerning the no-self-reported measures of physical activity among African schoolchildren despite alarming prevalence of the cardiometabolic risk factors such as overweight and obesity. This study aims to evaluate some physical and cardiorespiratory profiles among schoolchildren from two government high schools (S1, S2) in Douala, Cameroon. One hundred and seventy-six (176) schoolchildren (114 boys and 62 girls) aged 10-14 years underwent a 9 minutes run test. At the end of the test, distance covered (D), peak and recovery heart rates (Peak HR, HRR) were determined. Prior to testing session, anthropometric data (i.e. height and weight) were taken using a standard protocol and the body max index (BMI) was also calculated. The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was estimated at the end of the test. Most of schoolchildren (97%) have normal weight. But D (m) was higher compared to some of those observed in Caucasians. D for girls was significantly (p < .0001) lower than that of the boys. No significant (p > .05) variation was found in BMI, Peak HR and HRR among the schoolchildren. However, significant (p < .05) variation was detected in D for girls in S2 on a reduced track (278m) as compared to that of D for girls in S1 on a larger track (400m). Negative correlation was found between D and RPE (r = -.220, p = .003). These results present some differences on body composition, physical and cardiorespiratory profiles among Cameroonian schoolchildren in accordance with gender and space perception.
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