Journal article Open Access

PHYSICAL FITNESS ASSESSMENT IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Stefan Kolimechkov

Physical fitness is a key indicator of health in children and adolescents and can predict the health status in the later phases of an individual’s life. Physical fitness has a multidimensional structure and can be assessed through its different components: body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, musculoskeletal fitness, motor fitness, and flexibility. There are more than fifteen health-related physical fitness test batteries which are used worldwide. The aim of this study was to analyse the most widely implemented field-based test batteries for assessing physical fitness and their ability to represent the relationship between the physical fitness components and the health of children and adolescents. The analyses of the literature showed that the test batteries ‘Eurofit’, ‘FitnessGram’ and ‘Alpha-fit’ are the most widely applied. The components and the tests which are included in these batteries were presented in detail, as well as the applicability of the implementation of these tests within the framework of a school programme. The newly proposed test battery ‘PREFIT’ appears to be the only one for assessing pre-school children between the ages of three and five.

Conclusion: the physical fitness assessment of children and adolescents presents us with vital information which can be utilised to maintain and improve children’s health. Therefore, it is of particular importance for schools to implement health-related physical fitness test batteries which are in accordance with the age of the participants and best reflect the relationship between physical fitness and their health.

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