Advanced Search

Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1):24-30



A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111

Frequency: Monthly

ISSN 0022-4707

Online ISSN 1827-1928


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1):24-30


Gender dif­fer­enc­es in phys­i­cal activ­ity and phys­i­cal fit­ness in ­young chil­dren in Crete

Manios Y., Kafatos A., Codrington C.

Department of Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

Background. To ­assess phys­i­cal activ­ity and phys­io­log­i­cal fit­ness param­e­ters ­among six ­year old chil­dren and to deter­mine wheth­er ­there ­were any sig­nif­i­cant gen­der dif­fer­enc­es.
Methods. Design & Setting: comparative ­study of a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of ­boys and ­girls in ­school and at ­home. Participants: 569 chil­dren (305 ­boys and 264 ­girls) select­ed ran­dom­ly ­from a ­total of 6153 reg­is­tered in the 1st ­grade in 1992 on the ­island of Crete. Measures: assessment of phys­i­cal activ­ity was ­based on obser­va­tion­al meth­ods involv­ing teach­ers and par­ents. Cardiorespiratory fit­ness was esti­mat­ed by per­for­mance on the 20 ­meter Shuttle Run Test (20mSRT). BMI, skin­fold thick­ness, Midarm Muscle Circumference (MMC) and hemo­glo­bin ­were ­also meas­ured.
Results. Both sex­es ­were ­found to ­spend a ­very ­small pro­por­tion of ­their lei­sure ­time in Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activities (­MVPA). More ­boys ­engaged in ­MVPA ­than ­girls at ­school and at ­home, but ­more ­girls ­were ­involved in phys­i­cal activ­ity-relat­ed les­sons and class­es out of ­school. Among the phys­io­log­i­cal fit­ness param­e­ters, sig­nif­i­cant gen­der dif­fer­enc­es ­were ­found ­only for MMC. No sig­nif­i­cant gen­der dif­fer­ence was ­found in per­for­mance on the 20mSRT.
Conclusions. The ­results indi­cate ­that in ­this cul­ture ster­eo­typ­ic sex pref­er­enc­es in phys­i­cal activ­ity ­begin at a ­very ­young age, and ­that ­this dif­fe­ren­ti­a­tion can­not be attrib­ut­ed to gen­der dif­fer­enc­es in car­di­o­res­pir­a­to­ry fit­ness. The ­social, envi­ron­men­tal and pos­sibly psy­cho­log­i­cal param­e­ters ­involved ­have impli­ca­tions for Health Educators and Physical Education Instructors in the appro­pri­ate tar­get­ing of phys­i­cal activ­ity pro­mo­tion pro­grams ­among ­young chil­dren.

language: English


top of page