Int J Sports Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-1738-2072
Training & Testing

Temporal trends in the physical fitness of Hong Kong adolescents between 1998 and 2015

Eric Tsz-Chun Poon
1   Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Ringgold ID: RIN66390)
2   Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Ringgold ID: RIN26451)
,
Grant Tomkinson
3   Department of Education, Health and Behavior Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, United States (Ringgold ID: RIN3579)
4   Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), Allied Health and Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (Ringgold ID: RIN1067)
,
Wendy Yajun Huang
5   Centre for Health and Exercise Science Research, Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Ringgold ID: RIN26679)
,
Stephen H.S. Wong
2   Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Ringgold ID: RIN26451)
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China CUHK PDFS2021-4S11

Low physical fitness in adolescence is linked with increased cardiometabolic risk and early all-cause mortality. This study aimed to estimate temporal trends in the physical fitness of Hong Kong adolescents aged 12–17 years between 1998 and 2015. Physical fitness (9-min run/walk, sit-ups, push-ups, and sit-and-reach) and body size data in a total of 28,059 adolescents tested across five population-representative surveys of Hong Kong secondary school pupils, were reported. Temporal trends in means were estimated at the gender-age level by best-fitting sample-weighted linear regression, with national trends estimated by a post-stratified population-weighting procedure. Overall, there were small declines in 9-min run/walk (effect size (ES) = 0.29 (95%CI: 0.32, 0.26)) and sit-ups performance (ES = 0.24 (95%CI: 0.27, 0.21)), with negligible changes in push-ups and sit-and-reach performance. There were small concurrent increases in both mean height and body mass, with a negligible increase in sum of skinfolds. Trends in mean physical fitness and body size/ were not always uniform across the population distribution. The small declines in mean 9-min run/walk and sit-ups performance for Hong Kong adolescents are suggestive of corresponding declines in cardiorespiratory fitness and abdominal/core endurance, respectively. Increased national health promotion strategies are required to improve existing fitness trends.



Publication History

Received: 19 October 2021

Accepted after revision: 12 January 2022

Publication Date:
12 January 2022 (online)

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