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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Goon D. T. 1, Toriola A. L. 2, Musa D. I. 3, Akusu S. 3, Wuam S. 4, Audu M. 5, Toriola O. M. 6
1 Centre for Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
2 Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa
3 Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Physical and Health Education Unit, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
4 Department of Physical and Health Education, College of Education, Katsina-Ala, Nigeria 5Department of Physical and Health Education, College of Education, Oju, Nigeria
6 Department of Primary Education, (Physical Education Unit), University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni, Swaziland, South Africa
Aim. The Andibila is an isolated population living at the Andibila Mountain characterised by a primordial lifestyle. Evaluating the physical fitness of children in this community devoid of contemporary characteristics of modern society provides us with a glimpse of the past. The purposes of this study were (1) to compare the cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) of Andibila children living on a mountain with Ibila children residing on a low level and living a contemporary Nigerian lifestyle, and (2) to examine body mass index (BMI) and the prevalence of obesity in this population.
Methods. A total of 219 children aged 7-14 years took part in a cross-sectional study in 2009. The 20 m shuttle run was used to evaluate CRF and body composition was assessed using anthropometric variables (body mass, stature, triceps and subscapular skinfolds). BMI was computed from stature and body mass.
Results. Peak VO2 of Andibila children was significantly higher (P<0.0001) than that of Ibila children whether expressed in L.min-1 (2.0±0.2 versus 1.6±4.2) or ml.kg -1.min-1 (48.7±6.1 versus 38.7±5.2). There was a significant gender difference with boys performing better than girls (P<0.001), but no significant age effect. Obesity was absent, and only 2.1% were overweight. Compared with Ibila children, 2.2% were obese and 3.4% overweight.
Conclusion. The Andibila children have high level of CRF compared to other group of Nigerian children living a contemporary lifestyle, and obesity/overweight is rare. This study of nontechnological farming community can help us understand the impact of modern technology on children fitness, and highlight CRF of children living in diverse socio-economic backgrounds could be different.