Physical Fitness and Body Composition in 8–10-Year-Old Danish Children Are Associated With Sports Club Participation

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Abstract

Larsen, MN, Nielsen, CM, Ørntoft, CØ, Randers, M, Manniche, V, Hansen, L, Hansen, PR, Bangsbo, J, and Krustrup, P. Physical fitness and body composition in 8–10-year-old Danish children are associated with sports club participation. J Strength Cond Res 31(12): 3425–3434, 2017—We investigated whether physical fitness and body composition in 8–10-year-old Danish children are associated with sports club participation. The study included 423 schoolchildren, comprising 209 girls and 214 boys, of whom 67 and 74%, respectively, were active in sports clubs. Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 for children (YYIR1C), balance, jump and coordination tests, together with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, were used to determine exercise capacity and body composition. Children active in sports clubs had better (p < 0.05) YYIR1C (33%, 767 ± 26 vs. 575 ± 29 m), 20-m sprint (3%, 4.33 ± 0.03 vs. 4.48 ± 0.04 seconds), coordination (6%, 68 ± 1 vs. 72 ± 1 second), and balance test performances (9%, 19.3 ± 0.5 vs. 21.2 ± 0.7 falls·min−1) and lower fat mass index (16%, 3.8 ± 0.1 vs. 4.5 ± 0.2 kg[fat]·m−2) than children not active in sports clubs. Ball game players had better (p < 0.05) YYIR1C (38%, 925 ± 39 vs. 671 ± 28 m), 20-m sprint (4%, 4.25 ± 0.03 vs. 4.42 ± 0.04 seconds), and coordination test performances (5%, 65 ± 1 vs. 69 ± 1 second), along with higher (p < 0.05) lean body mass (5%, 24.00 ± 0.22 vs. 22.83 ± 0.25 kg) and whole-body BMD (2%, 0.90 ± < 0.01 vs. 0.88 ± <0.01 g·cm−2) compared with children active in other sports. The study showed that 8[FIGURE DASH]10-year-old Danish children engaged in sports-club activity, especially ball game players, have better exercise capacity and superior body composition compared with children not active in sports clubs.

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