Status of field-based fitness testing in children and youth

Patty S. Freedson, Kirk J. Cureton, Gregory Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes the history of youth fitness testing in the United States and the different fitness test batteries that are currently available. Validity and reliability of test items are reviewed and a description of how test results are interpreted is presented. Fitness testing for children and youth has undergone many changes over the past 3 decades. The tests used to assess the different components of fitness have evolved from a performance model to a model that considers health-related outcomes. Test interpretation currently employs criterion-referenced standards in contrast to the norm-referenced system of evaluation. Although some of the individual test items lack empirical data to verify that the test items provide a reasonable estimate of the fitness parameter, there is consensus on the health-related fitness components: Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Data are also lacking that directly link fitness level in youth to health as an adult. Despite these limitations, fitness testing is of value to the teacher, researcher, child, and caregiver. Test results may provide a measure of fitness level and identify areas that need improvement, results to be tracked over time, an indication of risk for developing certain chronic diseases, and a teaching tool for teachers and students in comprehensive fitness education programs. (C) 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume31
Issue number2 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Exercise Test
Health
Body Composition
Reproducibility of Results
Caregivers
Teaching
Chronic Disease
History
Research Personnel
Students
Education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Status of field-based fitness testing in children and youth. / Freedson, Patty S.; Cureton, Kirk J.; Heath, Gregory.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 2 II, 01.01.2000.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Freedson, Patty S. ; Cureton, Kirk J. ; Heath, Gregory. / Status of field-based fitness testing in children and youth. In: Preventive Medicine. 2000 ; Vol. 31, No. 2 II.
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