Physical Fitness Survey of Nigerian School Children: Pathway to Life-long Physical Activity and Quality Health

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Otinwa, G.O.
Abass, O. A
Oladipo, O. I
Onwuama, M.A.C
Adewumi, C. M
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Jutendo University
This study determined and compared the physical ˆtness status of school children/adolescents in two major cities in South-West Nigeria, using the International Health-Related Children/Youth Physical Fitness Test and Lifestyle Survey of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance. One thousand and thirty one primary and secondary school children who volunteered and gave consent served as participants. Fitness variables measured include: muscular strength, muscular endurance, aerobic capacity, explosive power and coordination, hip ‰exibility and body mass index. Results were presented as means, standard deviation and t-test along gender diŠerences and cities; simple percentage and frequency counts were used to analyze questionnaire on lifestyle. The ˆndings of this study indicated signiˆcant diŠerences in all the variables compared between female and male except in hip ‰exibility where female participants rated better than boys. Gender imbalance is seen in most of the ˆtness parameters all in favour of males. Possible reasons for these is diŠerence include social, cultural and recreational patterns of children. Signiˆcant diŠerences also existed between children classiˆed under urban and rural categories in physical characteristics and health related ˆtness components of muscular strength, muscular endurance, explosive power and coordination, ‰exibility and cardiorespiratory endurance. It has been recommended that an eŠective intervention programme that will lead to changes in the health related ˆtness levels of children are required in other to extend the lifespan of Nigerians. It is hoped that the present life expectancy at birth which is at 52 years would have improved as children and adolescents approach adulthood. Speciˆcally, the Federal and State Ministries of Education should embark on a review of the existing curriculum and co-curriculum programmes in the country in other to provide opportunities for children to be physically active during and after school hours
Fitness , Health , Physical Activity , Nigeria , lifestyle
15. Otinwa, G.O, Abass, A. O., Oladipo, O. I, Onwuama, M. A. & Adewunmi, C M. (2016). Physical Fitness Survey of Nigerian School Children: Pathway to Life-long Physical Activity and Quality Health. Journal of Health and Sports Science Juntendo, 7 (2), 87-91.