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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2010 Jun;50(2):217-28.

Describing weight status and fitness in a community sample of children attending after-school programming.

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College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182, USA.


Although the body of research on public-health aspects of after-school programs is growing, little is known with regard to physical fitness levels of attending children. The purpose of this study was to describe the health-related fitness in a community sample (N.=826) of under-served children attending after-school programming. Health-related fitness was assessed via Fitnessgram(R) and body mass index. In this population, numerous children failed to meet national standards for the push-up (54%), curl-up (24%) and pacer (47%) tests. Many of those failing to meet national standards were unable to perform a single push-up (32%), or curl-up (12%), and over half (51%) of the children were overweight or obese. Significant differences by race/ethnicity, gender, and weight status emerged for some fitness measures. Based on these data, fitness aspects beyond weight status should be considered when designing PA programs for children, especially those in communities of underserved youth.

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