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Am J Hum Biol. 2000 Mar;12(2):207-213.

Follow-up of participants in the Trois-Rivières Growth and Development Study: Examining their health-related fitness and risk factors as adults.

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1
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of daily physical education in primary school on some indices of fitness (PWC170/kg, handgrip strength, sit and reach flexibility, abdominal muscle endurance, and balance), cardiovascular health (lipid profile, waist-to-hip ratio), and anthropometry in the adult years. Four subsamples of participants in the Trois-Rivières Growth and Development Study were examined: experimental men (n = 32), experimental women (n = 36), control men (n = 30), and control women (n = 35), some 20 years after completion of primary school. During 6 years of primary school education, the experimental group received 5 h of physical education each week, whereas the control group received only the typical Provincial program of a single 40-min period per week. Experimental men and women showed a significant advantage over their respective control groups on the Flamingo balance test, but scores for the remaining physical and health-related fitness tests (PWC170, handgrip strength, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, Apo B, triglycerides, blood pressures, waist-to-hip ratio and percentage of body fat) did not differ between experimental and control subjects. It is concluded that participants in a daily physical education program during primary school do not display any advantage of physical fitness over control subjects as adults. This underlines the necessity of stimulating physical functions throughout the lifespan in order to maintain physical fitness. However, the better result of experimental subjects on the balance test suggests, perhaps, that the school physical education program may have had a more permanent effect on some components of motor skills. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 12:207-213, 2000. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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