Correlates of health-related physical fitness levels of Portuguese children

Sofia A. Pereira, André T. Seabra, Rui G. Silva, Weimo Zhu, Gaston P. Beunen, José A. Maia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To investigate Portuguese children's health related physical fitness (HRPF) pass rates, and to analyze the associations between HRPF and sex, age, physical activity, overweight/obesity and gross motor coordination. Methods. Weight, height, gross motor coordination, physical activity levels and health-related physical fitness were evaluated in 3 699 Azorean children in Portugal, aged 6 to 10 years. Overweight and obesity were classified according to criteria proposed by Cole et al. in the year 2000. Logistic regressions were used to verify the associations. Results. In the total sample, 17.9% to 42.6% of girls and 39.5 to 49.6% of boys in the different age groups passed all tests. Boys have higher pass rates in push-ups compared with girls. With increasing age there is a lower probability of being fit. Moderately active children are more likely to be fit in curl-up and push-up and very-active children are more likely to be fit in curl-up, push-up and trunk-lift than less-active children. A higher level of motor coordination is related to a higher probability of being fit in all tests. Overweight children are less likely to be fit in push-up and a 1-mile run/walk, but are 2.7 times (95% CI = 1.1-6.3) more likely to be fit in trunk-lift. Obese children are less likely to be fit in curl-up, push-up and a 1-mile walk than normal weight children. Conclusions. The results show low levels of HRPF in Azorean children. HRPF pass rates are positively associated with motor coordination and high levels of PA, and negatively with age, overweight and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011


  • Children
  • health-related physical fitness
  • motor coefficient
  • obesity
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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