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Health Rep. 2019 Oct 16;30(10):14-22. doi: 10.25318/82-003-x201901000002-eng.

Normative-referenced percentile values for physical fitness among Canadians.

Author information

1
Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
2
Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
3
Centre for Population Health Data, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
4
Centre for Health Promotion, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
5
Department of Education, Health and Behavior Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States, and the Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences and Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
6
Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study developed age- and sex-specific normative-referenced percentile values for five physical fitness tests across a wide age range of Canadians, using a nationally representative sample.

DATA AND METHODS:

The data are from 5,188 Canadians (50.1% female) and were collected as part of cycle 5 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2016 to 2017).

RESULTS:

Males had slightly better cardiorespiratory fitness and substantially better grip strength, jumping height and jumping power scores than females, whereas females had better sit-and-reach flexibility. Among females, there were pronounced increases in jumping height (P50: 25%) and jumping power (P50: 58%) between ages 8 and 13, and in grip strength (P50: 193%) between ages 6 and 19. Performance gradually declined with age, beginning in adolescence for jumping ability and at approximately age 35 for grip strength. Among males, there were pronounced increases in jumping height (P50: 69%) and jumping power (P50: 233%) between ages 8 and 20, and in grip strength (P50: 365%) between ages 6 and 20. Performance gradually declined with age, beginning immediately after adolescence for jumping ability and at approximately age 30 for grip strength. Sit-and-reach flexibility remained relatively stable with age in both sexes. Cardiorespiratory fitness scores in both sexes declined steadily with age beginning (generally) at age 8, with a larger decline evident in females until age 18.

DISCUSSION:

These normative-referenced values for physical fitness could be useful for screening in public health and clinical practice.

KEYWORDS:

flexibility; cardiorespiratory fitness; health; jumping mechanography; muscular fitness; norms

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