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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
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
Original articles EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 March;43(1):90-8
Secular trends in physical performance of Australian children. Evidence from the Talent Search program
Tomkinson G. R. 1, Olds T. S. 1, Gulbin J. 2
1 Computer Simulation Laboratory, School of Physical Education Exercise and Sport Studies University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
2 South Australian Sports Institute now at the Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australia
Aim. This study examined trends in aerobic fitness in 12-15-year-old South Australian schoolchildren in the years 1995-2000, based on data from the Australian Sports Commission’s Talent Search program.
Methods. A total of 18,631 children were tested. The aerobic performance test used was the 20 m shuttle run test (20mSRT). The 20mSRT scores were expressed as completed laps, and converted to estimated V.O2max values.
Results. There were significant declines (p=0.04-0.0001) across all age-gender slices, equivalent to 0.18 to 0.36 ml O2·kg-1·min-1· yr-1, or about 0.4-0.8% of mean values per year. The rate of decline is consistent with several other Australian and overseas studies in the years 1980-2000, which have used a variety of aerobic tests across a wide range of age groups. In relation to children of similar age in 7 other countries, Australian children show poor to average aerobic fitness levels.
Conclusion. It is possible that the decay in Australian children’s aerobic fitness is in part due to reduced physical activity.