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Medicina dello Sport 2021 March;74(1):121-33

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.20.03780-1

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Changes in physical fitness by percentage body fat in Korean adults and elderly individuals

Inje LEE 1, 2, Kyungeon KIM 1, Wi-Young SO 3, Hee-Seong JEONG 1, 2

1 Department of Physical Education, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea; 2 International Olympic Committee Research Centre KOREA, Seoul, South Korea; 3 Sports and Health Care Major, College of Humanities and Arts, Korea National University of Transportation, Chungju, South Korea


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BACKGROUND: There are few studies on the correlation between body fat and physical fitness in the current Korean population. Therefore, this study aimed to: 1) compare the physical fitness of a high percentage body fat group with a low percentage body fat group; and 2) to examine the association between percentage body fat and physical fitness for each sex in this population.
METHODS: In total, 4292 Korean adults and 908 elderly individuals participated. The physical fitness examination consisted of six tests for adults and five tests for elderly individuals. Data from the Survey of National Physical Fitness in 2017 were analyzed using an independent t-test to compare groups categorized by percentage body fat and the Pearson correlation analysis to evaluate the correlations between percentage body fat and physical fitness.
RESULTS: Among the adults, there were significant differences in all physical fitness variables in men and women (P<0.001). Among the elderly individuals, most physical fitness variables showed significant differences in both sexes (both, P<0.05), except for hand grip strength (P=0.059) and walking for 6 minutes (P=0.066) in women. There were significant associations between percentage body fat and physical fitness in both sexes of adults (P<0.001) and elderly individuals (P<0.05), except for walking for 6 minutes in elderly women (P=0.218).
CONCLUSIONS: Reducing body fat may prevent various injuries and diseases and enhance physical fitness. Encouraging exercise programs in adults and elderly individuals may be necessary.


KEY WORDS: Body composition; Fat body; Physical functional performance; Adult

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