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Temporal trends in the physical fitness of Hong Kong adolescents between 1998 and 2015Supported 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.
Received: 19 October 2021
Accepted after revision: 12 January 2022
12 January 2022 (online)
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