COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF BMI AND BODY FAT PERCENT OF NIGERIAN AND GHANAIAN ATHLETES: IMPLICATIIONS FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
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This study examined the differences in body mass index (BMI) and body fat percent of 187 Nigerian and Ghanaian University student athletes, who constituted the study sample. The study also compared values of these cohorts with reported norms, in order to determine what performance improvement strategies the athletes require for the future. Participants’ height, body weight, BMI, and resting values of heart rate, and blood pressure were measured. Body fat percent was determined through the waist- to- hip ratio test. This was considered appropriate because of the non-availability of more accurate scientific equipment. The waist measurement was taken at the point of smallest circumference and the hip at the point of greatest circumference. Results showed that while there were slight differences in the age, body weight and BMI of female athletes, significant difference existed in the body mass index of female athletes. The male cohort also recorded slight differences in body weight and BMI. It was also indicated that African athletes had higher values in body weight and BMI when compared with reported norms. Based on the findings, it is suggested that performance improvement be centered on the provision of enabling training conditions in African Universities and the adequate use of the facilities provided by the athletes.
BODY MASS INDEX (BMI) , BODY FAT PERCENT , AFRICAN ATHLETES , IMPROVED PERFORMANCE