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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Apr;86(4):1428-35.

Relationship between activity levels, aerobic fitness, and body fat in 8- to 10-yr-old children.

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School of Sport, Health, and Physical Education Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor LL57 2EN, Wales, United Kingdom.


The relationships between children's activity, aerobic fitness, and fatness are unclear. Indirect estimates of activity, e.g., heart rate (HR) and recall, may mask any associations. The purpose of this study was to assess these relationships by using the Tritrac-R3D, a pedometer, and heart rate. Thirty-four children, ages 8-10 yr, participated in the study. The Tritrac and pedometer were worn for up to 6 days. HR was measured for 1 day. Activity measured by Tritrac or pedometer correlated positively to fitness in the whole group (Tritrac, r = 0.66; pedometer, r = 0.59; P < 0.01) and in boys and girls separately (P < 0.05) and correlated negatively to fatness in the whole group (r = -0.42, P < 0.05). In contrast, HR did not correlate significantly to fitness, and HR of >139 beats/min correlated positively to fatness in girls (r = 0.64, P < 0.05). This suggests that HR is misleading as a measure of activity. This study supports a positive relationship between activity and fitness and suggests a negative relationship between fatness and activity.

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