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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Racial background and possible relationships between physical activity and physical fitness of girls : the Thusa Bana Study : research article

Charlene Engelbrecht, Ben Coetzee, Anita E Pienaar

Abstract


The aim of this research was to investigate possible relationships between physical activity and physical fitness of girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years and the role of different racial backgrounds in this relationship. A cross-sectional research design was used to obtain information from 290 girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years, randomly selected from 16 schools in different districts in the Northwest Province of South Africa. They were classified as low, moderate or high active by means of the PDPAR (Previous day physical activity recall, Trost et al., 1999). Physical fitness was tested by means of a physical fitness battery of tests (Brewer, 1988; Docherty, 1996; Wood, 1997) consisting of abdominal strength, handgrip strength, bent-arm-hang, flexibility and VO2 max tests. SAS was used to analyse activity patterns, while the Statistica for Windows programme was used to determine descriptive statistics. Variance of analysis (ANOVA) and Tukey post hoc tests were used to analyse the data for differences. The results indicate that the girls as a group were classified as low active, although different activity levels and physical activity patterns were found among the different racial groups. Relationships were found to exist between low PA levels of white and black groups in arm-strength endurance and flexibility, while abdominal strength of low active Indian girls were significantly higher compared to black girls.



Keywords: Physical activity, Physical fitness, Race, Girls, Health, Physical activity patterns


South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol.26(1) 2004: 41-53



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