Factors associated with low fitness in adolescents – A mixed methods study
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Fitness and physical activity are important for cardiovascular and mental health but activity and fitness levels are declining especially in adolescents and among girls. This study examines clustering of factors associated with low fitness in adolescents in order to best target public health interventions for young people. Methods: 1147 children were assessed for fitness, had blood samples, anthropometric measures and all data were linked with routine electronic data to examine educational achievement, deprivation and health service usage. Factors associated with fitness were examined using logistic regression, conditional trees and data mining cluster analysis. Focus groups were conducted with children in a deprived school to examine barriers and facilitators to activity for children in a deprived community. Results: Unfit adolescents are more likely to be deprived, female, have obesity in the family and not achieve in education. There were 3 main clusters for risk of future heart disease/diabetes (high cholesterol/insulin); children at low risk (not obese, fit, achieving in education), children ‘visibly at risk’ (overweight, unfit, many hospital/GP visits) and ‘invisibly at risk’ (unfit but not overweight, failing in academic achievement). Qualitative findings show barriers to physical activity include cost, poor access to activity, lack of core physical literacy skills and limited family support. Conclusions: Low fitness in the non-obese child can reveal a hidden group who have high risk factors for heart disease and diabetes but may not be identified as they are normal weight. In deprived communities low fitness is associated with non-achievement in education but in non-deprived communities low fitness is associated with female gender. Interventions need to target deprived families and schools in deprived areas with community wide campaigns.
BMC Public Health;
Charlton, R., Gravenor, M.B., Rees, A., Knox, G., Hill, R., Rahman, M.A., Jones, K., Christian, D., Baker, J.S., Stratton, G. and Brophy, S. (2014) 'Factors associated with low fitness in adolescents–a mixed methods study', BMC Public Health, 14(1), p.764. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-764.
Article published in BMC Public Health on 29 July 2014, available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-764.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
This study was funded by a studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council and from grant funding from the Welsh Assembly Government (H7-3-016)
- Sport Research Groups 
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Child Fitness and Father’s BMI Are Important Factors in Childhood Obesity: A School Based Cross-Sectional Study Brophy, Sinead; Rees, Anwen; Knox, Gareth; Baker, Julien S.; Thomas, Non E. (Public Library of Science, 2012)Background This study examines obesity and factors associated with obesity in children aged 11–13 years in the UK. Methods 1147 children from ten secondary schools participated in a health survey that included ...
Ivinson, Gabrielle; Thompson, Ian; Beckett, Lori; Egan, David; Leitch, Ruth; McKinney, Stephen (SAGE, 2017-10-25)In 2016, the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Commission on Poverty and Policy Advocacy brought together several academics from across the four jurisdictions of the UK already engaged in work on poverty, ...
The Relationship between Leisure Time Physical Activity and Fundamental Movement Skill Ability in Children who Attend a State School and Children who Attend a Private School Forster, Emma (2014-01)The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and Fundamental Movement Skill (FMS) ability in children attending a state school and children attending ...