HALO alumni/Affiliate Investigators Dr. Justin Lang and Dr. Richard Larouche and HALO Director Dr. Mark Tremblay are authors on a paper, “The association between physical fitness and health in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and youth aged 6 to 17 years,” that was recently published in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.
Lang JJ, Larouche R, Tremblay MS. The association between physical fitness and health in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and youth aged 6 to 17 years . Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada. 2019. 39(3):104-111.
Introduction: This study explored the relationship between physical fitness and indicators of physical and psychosocial health in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and youth aged 6–17 years. Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis of Canadian Health Measures Survey (Cycles 1 and 2; 2007-2011) data. The physical fitness measures included cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF; modified Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test), strength (handgrip strength), flexibility (sit-and-reach), and muscular endurance (partial curl-ups). The physical health indicators included directly measured biomarkers (total and HDL [high-density lipoprotein] cholesterol, C-reactive protein, glucose, and HbA1c [glycohaemoglobin]) and measures of adiposity, resting heart rate, and blood pressure. Psychosocial health was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Multiple linear regressions were used to determine the association between variables, stratified by age groups and sex. Results: 3,800 (48.9% female) children and youth were retained for this analysis. CRF displayed significant favourable associations with most physical health indicators in male and female participants. There were less significant favourable associations with flexibility and muscular endurance compared with CRF across age and sex groups. Strength was associated with higher adiposity in males and females, and lower heart rate in male children (β = −1.9; 95% CI: −2.9, −1.0) and female youth (β = −2.0; 95% CI: −2.7, −1.2). There were few significant favourable associations between measures of physical fitness and psychosocial health in this sample of children and youth. Conclusion: These findings suggest that physical fitness, and especially CRF, is a significant indicator of physical health among Canadian children and youth aged 6–17 years.
Please click here to read the paper for free.